Fireworks can badly spook animals

Most people don’t realize how much suffering fireworks can cause to animals, particularly horses and dogs.

Most people don’t realize how much suffering fireworks can cause to animals, particularly horses and dogs.

Horses have acute hearing and can pick up vibrations. The unfamiliar sounds and vibrations can be very frightening and cause a horse to panic. Horses are prey animals with instinctual behaviours that make them aware of their surroundings. Horses can respond unpredictably to unfamiliar sights and sounds. They have tremendous power with quick reflexes when their flight instinct is triggered. Run now — look later! is the usual formula for a horse’s sense of safety.

It is my hope that you might consider this when and if you are planning to light off fireworks. Please pick up a free licence with the CVRD office or at least put a note up on the mailbox that you are planning a display. Not all horses and dogs are bothered by fireworks, but for those that can’t cope, the results of a fearful panicked reaction can be catastrophic. The potential to cause life altering injuries to property or persons can be the unfortunate outcome or a horses’ flight-survival instinct.

One of the reasons fireworks are allowed on specified nights is to allow animal owners to prepare. I have to make sure my terrified horse is tranquilized and is in a safe place. I also have to stay up late that night to be prepared for any trouble. When fireworks go off on other nights I have no warning and no time to prepare — a very dangerous situation for me. Please be respectful of the rules for the animal’s sakes. Please, please only light off fireworks on the designated evenings Oct. 31, Dec. 31 and July 1.

My intention is to not stop people from having fun but to be aware this is a rural area with a lot of outdoor livestock that really suffer when fireworks are going off. You may be enjoying them but there are lots of your neighbours that are panicking with crazy animals in distress.


Lynn Wang


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