It is estimated that 62 percent of dogs show signs of fear when they hear fireworks, and 54 percent and 55 percent of cats and horses also experience distress respectively. Animals impacted not only suffer psychological distress but can also cause themselves injuries as they attempt to run or hide from the noise.
Although most reports of welfare problems caused by fireworks relate to domestic pets, other animals can also experience fear, distress and/or injury as a result of them. Farm livestock and horses are easily frightened by loud noises and sudden bright lights and can be at risk of injuring themselves on fencing, equipment and fittings within their housing if startled.
Debris produced by fireworks can also pose a hazard to horses and farm livestock on the land, as well as disturbing and causing distress to the great deal of wildlife found in parts of Wales.
The RSPCA receive on average 400 calls each year relating to their use across England and Wales and sadly, around 62 percent of dogs show signs of distress as a result of their loud, unpredictable bangs and bright flashes.
Such a problem was exacerbated in 2020 amid a 12 percent rise in private displays, often happening in close proximity to residential areas which can play home to a large number of pets and wildlife. Additionally, this could be a major factor in causing distress for many vulnerable people and potentially putting added pressures on the police force and NHS.
The RSPCA continues to call for further measures at a national level in Wales to prevent further distress being caused to thousands of animals and people each year.
Further information about the RSPCA's fireworks campaign can be found online here.