Guy Fawkes – Animals Worst Nightmare

Dear Friends

It is that time of year again, when fireworks and celebrations mark the start of the ‘silly season’.

The Animal Rescue Organisation (ARO) is appealing to all Capetonians getting ready to celebrate Guy Fawkes, not to purchase or encourage the releasing of fireworks which can be harmful to animals and people, especially those that let off a bang.

The Animal Rescue Organisation is against the use of any fireworks which give off a loud noise due to the fear and trauma that they cause to animals.  An animal’s hearing is far more acute than that of ours enabling them to hear a wider range of sounds. With every firework let off an animal hears it at least seven times louder than that of humans. Their immediate reaction is to escape the noise often resulting in the animals causing severe injuries to themselves.

Harming an animal is illegal and will result in prosecution. Should you suspect an animal is in danger, members of the public are urged to contact the Metro Police 24 hour call centre to lodge complaints regarding illegal firework activities on 021 596 1999 or the SPCA Inspectorate on 083 362 1604.

Designated areas have been assigned for the release of fireworks, outlined below:

  • Bishop Lavis sports field, Lavis Drive, Bishop Lavis
  • Wesfleur sports field, Reygersdal Drive, Atlantis
  • Macassar Beach parking area, Macassar Road, Macassar
  • Swartklip Sports Complex, corner of Spine and Swartklip Roads, Mitchells Plain
  • Maidens Cove parking area, Victoria Road, Camps Bay
  • Athlone Stadium parking area (Eastern side), Klipfontein Road, Athlone
  • Strandfontein Pavilion, Strandfontein
  • Beachfront opposite Tourism Centre, Table View

Residents living in areas where fireworks will be let off are to please ensure they follow the below guidelines to ensure the safety of their animals:

  • Identification – ensure your pet has an identity disk with your contact details and if possible have your pets micro-chipped;
  • If possible stay at home with them;
  • If you are unable to stay at home, leave your pets inside, in a room that is safe and secure and draw the curtains – to prevent them from being frightened by pyrotechnics and to prevent them from jumping through the window
  • Drawing the curtains and playing calming music at a reasonable volume can drown the sound of the fireworks;
  • Place familiar and comforting objects around them, such as bedding, toys and blankets;
  • Give them something to keep them occupied – a chewy bone or catnip toys for cats;
  • Small animals, such as rabbits and guinea pigs, should be brought into a quiet room, garage or garden shed. Provide extra bedding so they have something to burrow into;
  • Cover aviaries, hutches and cages with blankets to block out the sights and sounds of fireworks, but make sure that you leave gaps for ventilation;
  • Livestock and horse owners must check that paddocks are well fenced and secure before the fireworks begin. Frightened farm animals that get out of their paddocks can harm themselves;
  • If you suspect or know your pet reacts badly towards fireworks, seek professional advice and help from your veterinarian who may prescribe a sedative to help ease the symptoms.  There are also a number of effective homeopathic remedies available at health shops and certain vet shops.

The potential injuries which pets and people can sustain from fireworks are horrendous and just not worth the cheap thrill that a small minority enjoy at the expense of the majority. Although we are hopeful of an incident free Guy Fawkes, we are prepared for the worst. Fireworks are potentially dangerous, a waste of money and ought to be banned.

Feel free to post your comments, I would love to hear your opinions and views.

Until next time,

Jess

Guy Fawkes 2013

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