Remember, Remember: Pets Hate November


Categories: Animal Welfare, Culture and Tourism, Events and Sport, Safer Communities

Alyn Smith MP with Jack the Cocker Spaniel and Pongo the Dalmatian, Stirling.

Alyn Smith MP Urges Precautions for Pets on Bonfire Night

Stirling MP Alyn Smith is urging locals to put the needs of their furry friends first this Thursday night, ahead of Guy Fawkes celebrations.

With an increase in private fireworks displays likely this year as COVID restrictions see many organised displays cancelled, Stirling MP Alyn Smith has also urged those using fireworks on bonfire night to do so safely and mindful of the impact they have on animals. 

As Honorary Vice-President of the Scottish SPCA and Honorary Associate of the British Veterinary Association (BVA), Mr Smith has drawn attention to the distress and trauma that fireworks can cause domestic pets, farm animals, and wildlife.  

According to the RSPCA, 62% of dog owners and 54% of cat owners said their pet showed signs of distress during firework season. 

Around 1 in 14 vets across the UK reported seeing animals with firework-related injuries over 2018, with self-injuries caused by fireworks-related anxiety being the most common. 

SSPCA advice on keeping pets safe includes:

  • Not walking dogs around the time fireworks are being set off.
  • Bringing all pets indoors (including rabbits, guinea pigs etc).
  • Move horses to stables.
  • Allow dogs and cats to move from room to room.
  • Close all windows / doors / cat flaps etc.
  • Ensure dogs are not left at home alone.
  • Inform neighbours of your intention to set off fireworks.
  • Do not take dogs to fireworks displays.
  • Check your surroundings / wood pile for wildlife or cats before lighting a bonfire.
  • Report unsafe use of fireworks to Police Scotland on 101 or on 999 in an emergency.

Full advice can be found at:

Alyn Smith MP said: 

“Fireworks can cause severe distress and trauma for domestic pets, farm animals, and wildlife. Numerous incidents are reported every year of animals coming to serious harm, or even death, as a result of fireworks being set off near them. 

“As such, I welcome the #FireworkSafety initiative by the Scottish Government, Police Scotland, the Scottish SPCA and many others to raise awareness about the dangers of fireworks and bonfires ahead of the likely increase in private firework use this year as a result of COVID restrictions. 

“Pet owners should take precautions to keep their pets safe this bonfire night, including bringing all pets indoors, not walking dogs at night, and closing all doors, windows and cat flaps to prevent pets from fleeing. 

“I’m asking those who are thinking about having their own firework display this year to do so safely and keep in mind the distress and harm they may be causing to nearby animals and their owners.”