This is why you could be fined up to £20,000 for setting off fireworks near animals

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People who set off fireworks near animals could be handed a fine of up to £20,000, or jailed for six months.

Under section 7.3 of the Regulations of Fireworks Act, it is an offence to cause any unnecessary suffering to any captive or domestic animal.

Under section 7.3 of the Regulations of Fireworks Act,it is an offence to cause any unnecessary suffering to any captive or domestic animal.

Under section 7.3 of the Regulations of Fireworks Act,it is an offence to cause any unnecessary suffering to any captive or domestic animal.

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Yorkshire Animal Ambulance shared a post on Facebook highlighting the point that fireworks must not be set off near livestock or horses in fields, or close to buildings that house livestock.

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 states that if an animal is deemed to have been caused unnecessary suffering then a fine of up to £20,000 and a jail term of six months could be handed out.

The regulations of fireworks act says: "Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, powers exist for secondary legislation and codes of practice to be made to promote the welfare of animals.

"Under section 4 of the Act, it is an offence to cause any unnecessary suffering to any captive or domestic animal.

"The offence carries a fine of up to £20,000 and/or a prison term of up to six months.

"The Act is enforced by local councils, animal health officers and the police.

"Further information is available from the Gov.uk website."

What can be deemed as unnecessary suffering according to the Animal Welfare Act 2006?

Unnecessary suffering is defined in a number of different ways in the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

It says:

A person commits an offence if

(a) an act of his, or a failure of his to act, causes an animal to suffer,

(b) he knew, or ought reasonably to have known, that the act, or failure to act, would have that effect or be likely to do so,

(c) the animal is a protected animal, and

(d) the suffering is unnecessary.

A person commits an offence if

(a) he is responsible for an animal,

(b) an act, or failure to act, of another person causes the animal to suffer,

(c) he permitted that to happen or failed to take such steps (whether by way of supervising the other person or otherwise) as were reasonable in all the circumstances to prevent that happening, and

(d) the suffering is unnecessary.

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The considerations to which it is relevant to have regard when determining for the purposes of this section whether suffering is unnecessary include

(a) whether the suffering could reasonably have been avoided or reduced;

(b) whether the conduct which caused the suffering was in compliance with any relevant enactment or any relevant provisions of a licence or code of practice issued under an enactment;

(c )whether the conduct which caused the suffering was for a legitimate purpose, such as—

(i) the purpose of benefiting the animal, or

(ii) the purpose of protecting a person, property or another animal;

(d) whether the suffering was proportionate to the purpose of the conduct concerned;

(e) whether the conduct concerned was in all the circumstances that of a reasonably competent and humane person.

(4) Nothing in this section applies to the destruction of an animal in an appropriate and humane manner.