I am sorry to hear of the distress many of my constituents and their pets feel when the fireworks season comes. I would like to assure all my constituents that I take animal welfare in all forms very seriously. I am proud of my role as a patron of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, and I am currently sponsoring the Pet Abduction Bill, which will criminalise pet abduction and help reunite owners with their beloved pets and penalise criminals for this cruel crime. I will always be an advocate for improving the welfare of animals and pets.
I understand that there is a noise level limit of 120 decibels on fireworks for home use, which helps reduce disturbance to both animals and people. I believe that this measure makes a fair compromise between the freedom to celebrate with the use of fireworks, while also accounting for the distress that fireworks may cause to others and to pets. The Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes it an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to animals through the misuse of fireworks. Fireworks should not be set off near livestock or close to buildings that house livestock, or near to horses in fields. Anyone planning a firework display in rural areas should warn neighbouring farmers. Further, retailers are restricted to only selling consumer fireworks during limited time periods, specifically orientated around seasonal celebrations. Retailers may only supply fireworks outside these periods if they obtain a license from their local licensing authority.
Though there are no plans to ban fireworks outright, I believe the current state of affairs strikes a fair balance between the right to use fireworks as part of celebration, while also making sure no unnecessary distress is caused.