Restricting the use of fireworks is a step in the right direction. (file photo)

Editorial: New fireworks restrictions step in right direction

Animal owners everywhere will cheer the decision

We’re not entirely sure how effective it will be in practice, but we welcome the further restrictions North Cowichan is placing on fireworks in the municipality.

We hope the Cowichan Valley Regional District follows suit.

Animal owners everywhere will cheer the decision by North Cowichan council to restrict the setting off of fireworks to just three days of the year: Jan. 1 (New Year’s), Oct. 31 (Halloween), and July 1 (Canada Day).

Anyone wanting another day will have to make a specific request.

And therein lies the catch. Many of those who are a nuisance setting off fireworks and firecrackers willy-nilly don’t take part in the mandatory permit process anyway.

So it’s unlikely these new rules will faze them or put a dent in their constant bang, bang, bang that terrifies any nearby animals, from horses and cattle to dogs and cats.

It’s not that we don’t enjoy a good fireworks display. The community type put on by the fire departments for various celebrations can be wonderful. And while those worried about their pets or livestock still likely grit their teeth, at least these are advertised far enough in advance to make plans to mitigate the impact.

By far the more problematic are the non-compliers who seem to find it fun to run around in the dark for weeks (Halloween is often the worst time of year for this) surrounding one of the above dates tossing firecrackers and other fireworks here, there and everywhere, disturbing everyone unfortunate enough to live in the vicinity.

One has no idea how safety any of these is being used.

Enforcement, of course, is the problem. Even if one were to phone bylaw officers about the nuisance, it would be tough to catch the offenders in the act. But at least having a bylaw that can be enforced is a step in the right direction.

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