Protect your livestock against fireworks this autumn
Every year thousands of animals will suffer as a result of fireworks being let off , and as covid 19 continues to disrupt events across the UK and local fireworks displays being cancelled more people are having unregulated celebrations in their own gardens and even public parks and fields.
Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, it is illegal to light fireworks near fields or homes containing horses and livestock due to the loud noises they emit but this does not always stop it happening.
Animals often panic and flee at the sound of loud noises,which can put them in very dangerous scenarios,including injuries on nearby fences and equipment,running into roads,stampedes and loosing their young.
In 2018 around 1 in 14 vets attended to an animal with a firework-related injury and this increased to 1 in 5 for equine vets.
Have a plan
If you keep livestock consult with your vet to discuss management and treatment options,which may include noise desensitisation techniques, preparing a safe place for animals.
If you are aware of any fireworks events in your area or expecting them from neighbours, keep all animals inside during this period. Th only exception may be horses,who often feel more confident out in their field, rather than feeling trapped in their stable. Just ensure there are no spots in your fencing where your horse can escape. If you do stable your horse, it can help to keep a radio playing outside the stable to mask noises further afield. Stay with your horses as long as you can during Bonfire Night to keep calm.
Recognise signs of distress
Knowing the signs of distress can alert you should your animals become at real risk of endangering themselves during fireworks. Listen out for them being more vocal than usual and look out for signs of restlessness,refusal to lay down,grouping together,loud breathing,seizures and surging movements.
Many animals will be soothed by the presence of someone they trust.
Following firework events, make sure to check your fields for any dangerous firework debris and clear it away before allowing them to roam. Do not rest on your laurels following Bonfire Night, it pays to be vigilant throughout this period in case of follow-up events.