THE RSPCA is calling for tighter controls around fireworks after shocking incidents which included explosives being strapped to a kitten in Kenilworth.
Other cases across the country saw animals die as a result of being frightened or spooked and staff and animals left terrified after fireworks were let off outside an RSPCA hospital.
The charity received more than 80 calls relating to animals and fireworks between October 26 and November 9, and expect this number to go up with Diwali just around the corner (November 14).
Dozens of dog owners reported their pets cowering in fear or uncontrollably trembling for hours, while others revealed their dogs had bolted in a panic.
Four separate incidents of cats and kittens being strapped to lit fireworks were reported across the country, including one in Kenilworth.
An RSPCA spokesperson said: “On Bonfire Night we were made aware of two incidents – one in Bradford and one in Kenilworth – in which fireworks had been strapped to kittens before being set off. And on Friday the burned body of a cat was found strapped to a firework in Queensferry.”
Other incidents saw horses die injuring themselves after bolting due to being spooked by the fireworks.
It comes years after a foal from Princethorpe died after it became spooked and broke its back.
The RSPCA is calling for the use of fireworks to be restricted to agreed traditional dates of November 5, New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali. It also wants a reduction in the maximum permitted noise level of fireworks for public sale from 120 to 90 decibels, licensing of all public displays and private displays at events such as wedding and better labelling on fireworks so consumers can make informed decisions on buying ‘low noise’ fireworks.
RSPCA animal welfare expert Dr Mark Kennedy said: “Fireworks are extremely stressful and frightening for many animals. Around 62 per cent of dogs, 55 per cent of horses and 54 per cent of cats in the UK show signs of anxiety when they hear fireworks.
“All too often we hear heartbreaking stories of animals who seriously injure themselves in a blind panic after being spooked by fireworks. Perhaps even more shockingly, we seem to be seeing more incidents reported to our inspectors of animals being deliberately targeted and injured using fireworks. Enough is enough; we need tighter controls over the sale and use of these potentially lethal explosives.”
Visit www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/fireworks to support the campaign.