Consultation launched to consider crackdown on fireworks

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The Scottish Government is considering tightening controls around fireworks, leading to calls for the English government to follow suit.

A public consultation will begin in Scotland next year led by Community safety minister Ash Denham

The Scottish government is consulting the public on the sales of fireworks

The Scottish government is consulting the public on the sales of fireworks

The study will consider measures to reduce their misuse, including restrictions on where and when fireworks can be used.

This comes as more than 200,000 people across the UK have signed a petition calling for fireworks sales to be restricted and a licence system introduced.

Feedback from the Scottish consultation will influence ongoing discussions with the UK government about legislation governing the sale of fireworks, which is currently reserved.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service welcomed the consultation, which will be launched early next year. Assistant Chief Officer David McGown, said: “Our service welcomes any wider public debate around matters of safety, which includes fire, and in particular the use of fireworks.

More than 200,00 people have signed a petition calling for the sales of fireworks to be restricted

More than 200,00 people have signed a petition calling for the sales of fireworks to be restricted

“We therefore also welcome this consultation.”

More than 200,000 people have signed a petition calling for the ban of the sales of fireworks to the public.

As the petition has had over 100,000 signatures it will be debated in parliament next Monday November 26.

The petition states that ‘fireworks are a nuisance to the public. They scare animals, young children and people with a phobia.'

Read more: Shocking video shows gangs of youths shooting fireworks at each other in residential street
Speaking in support of fireworks restrictions, Holly Barber, RSPCA campaigns manager said: "Many pet owners will be familiar with the terror experienced by their dog or cat when fireworks are set off.

"The sudden loud noises and bright flashing lights are very frightening to some animals. Every year, the RSPCA receives hundreds of calls about animals distressed by fireworks. It’s estimated that 45 percent of dogs show signs of fear when they hear the explosions. Some animals, including horses and livestock, end up injured - or tragically even lose their life - from getting spooked by the fireworks.

"We’re calling for the private use of fireworks to be restricted to just four days of the year - on Bonfire Night, Diwali, New Years Eve and Chinese New Year.

"We also want the maximum noise level on fireworks to be reduced, for all public firework displays to be licensed and for all private firework boxes to be labelled as ‘loud’ or ‘low noise’."

Read more: The shocking footage which shows fire fighters attacked with fireworks while on shift in Yorkshire
However Steve Raper, vice chairman of the British Fireworks Association says the industry is already heavily regulated.

He said: "Each year fireworks are enjoyed by around 10 million people in the UK celebrating the long tradition of Guy Fawkes and Diwali Festival of Light.

"People love to get together and celebrate at home with family and friends. Sadly, this period of activity brings out the anti-firework campaigners who just seem determined to spoil the fun of the majority for the ideals of a vociferous minority.

"The industry is extremely heavily regulated as it is. We are told what we can sell, when and who we can sell it to. It is a perfectly safe and legal product if the instructions printed clearly on every item are followed.

"There are laws in place now to prevent irresponsible use and we would like to see the police and Trading Standards use these powers more rigorously. If we can ban the hooligan then there will be no requirement to spoil the enjoyment of millions."

Thousands flock to Roundhay Park for Leeds' biggest Bonfire Night fireworks show
What do you think? Should the UK government hold a public consultation like the Scottish government is doing? Should fireworks be banned from public use? Comment below and let us know.