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Vets Urge Owners: Take Steps To Avoid Seasonal Firework Trauma

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is urging pet owners and livestock keepers who are worried about their animals’ welfare to take steps now to avoid possible injury and distress during traditional fireworks dates such as Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve.

The advice comes as vets say they are especially concerned there may be an increase in unregulated backyard fireworks this year as official displays are limited by Covid-19 restrictions.

Many animals have more acute hearing than humans, so the loud bangs and whistles – which at 150 decibels can be as loud as the noise from a jet engine – can cause significant distress and fear and lead to the development of phobia responses. Vets see first-hand the impact of firework-related distress in horses at this time of the year. In a survey conducted by BVA in 2018, around one in fourteen vets across the country reported seeing animals with firework-related injuries over the previous year, with equine vets significantly more likely to report such cases (19%).

By far the most commonly reported cases were self-injuries caused by fireworks-related anxiety, such as fractures in horses that had bolted from their fields or tooth injuries to dogs from chewing furniture. The negative impact isn’t restricted to noise levels – the debris and remnants of fireworks and paper lanterns in fields and surrounding countryside can also pose a serious risk of injury to livestock.

Read the full article in our November/December edition…

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