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MP calls for protection for animals from 'distressing' fireworks

Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson is calling for more thought to be given to animals and the effect on them of fireworks.

Owners have expressed dismay at the reactions of their pets over Halloween week and Bonfire Night weekend, and with fireworks remaining on sale for the entire run-up to Christmas and New Year, the MP is asking constituents to take care.

The law states that fireworks (including sparklers) must not be thrown or set off in the street or other public places at any time. Fireworks can be set off at organised events or on private land but not between the hours of 11pm and 7am, except for on Bonfire Night, when the cut off is midnight; and New Year's Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am.

Fireworks can only be purchased by people over 18 and under 18s must not have fireworks in their possession.

With some campaigners calling for tougher laws, Mr Esterson wrote to Communities Minister James Brokenshire to ask what the Government was doing to protect animals during the period of Bonfire Night and up to New Year's Eve.

He wrote: "Firework displays can be great fun for families and are a long standing tradition. But the unpredictability of these can be terrifying, or even dangerously harmful to pets and their owners, not to mention wild animals. I should therefore be grateful if you would outline to me what plans the Government has to ensure that animals are kept safe from injury and distress during this time.”

The MP said: "My family has cats and a dog and I know how scary it can be for pets to hear fireworks going off. I would urge all of my constituents to have a thought for the impact of fireworks on pets and other animals."

Photo: Bill Esterson with his dog Othello

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