Fireworks ‘distress’ sparks bid for tighter display regulations

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Firework displays
There is concern about the impact of loud fireworks on animals and people

PUBLIC firework displays in the New Forest face tighter regulations to reduce the stress they cause animals, elderly and vulnerable people, and veterans.

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Any organisation which wants to put on a display, whether large scale or small, in the district will have to advertise it in advance, under measures proposed by New Forest District Council.

The authority has said it will also lobby the government and MPs to seek “greater regulation” of private displays – including those by individuals in their back gardens.

It further plans to launch a public awareness campaign and work with the national park authority, Forestry England and Hampshire County Council to develop a “joint and integrated approach” to organised and private displays.

The moves were announced by NFDC cabinet member Cllr Diane Andrews at its latest full meeting on behalf of environment and regulatory services cabinet member Cllr Alison Hoare, who could not attend.

New Forest recycling
Cllr Alison Hoare

“We live in a unique part of the world and as such have unique problems and challenges when trying to protect not just our wildlife and pets but the ponies, cattle and pigs who freely roam the Forest,” Cllr Andrews said.

“These are an integral part of our history and culture, the animals are people’s stock and livelihood.

“Fireworks can cause many problems for animals, not just from the noise, but from the debris of spent rockets which land within the Forest, countryside and gardens which can cause severe distress or even death, if eaten.

“Within the NFDC area there are also many people for whom fireworks are a source of distress, for example, the elderly, ex-servicemen and women and those who are vulnerable due to mental or physical challenges.”

The motion was backed by members before NFDC chairman Cllr Allan Glass decided not to allow any debate.

He said the issue would be further discussed at the next environment, overview and scrutiny panel meeting in the new year.

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