A petition on the House of Commons website calling for federal action against fireworks has gained the support of the BC SPCA.
It was started by BC resident Lavinia Rojas and authorized by Laurel Collins, a Member of Parliament under the New Democratic Party.
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The petition raises a number of concerns around the use of fireworks in Canada, including wildfires, structure fires, and even human deaths. Other issues include how fireworks can be a “source of pollution and toxic debris,” as well as how they often stretch fire and police crews thin on holidays.
It also states that a number of animal welfare organizations in Canada consider fireworks to be “a serious health and welfare risk to pets, farm animals, and wildlife.”
“Animal welfare organizations further explain that fireworks cause death, illness, and stress to animals in our communities,” the petition reads.
The BC SPCA shared that same sentiment, saying that Halloween can be “one of the most frightful nights of the year” for animals.
“Approximately 49% of dogs are fearful of loud noises such as fireworks, thunderstorms, and gunshots,” reads a statement from the BC SPCA. “While roughly 79% of horses shoe anxious behaviour during fireworks displays.
Aleigh Ateyo, who works as an overnight emergency officer at the BC SPCA, suggests that most people don’t realize the trauma that fireworks can cause for animals either.
“On nights when there are fireworks, the call load is always worse,” she says. “The animals are frantic and once an animal is frightened and running, they are almost impossible to catch.”
The petition is calling on the Canadian government to explore permanent legislative change around the use of fireworks that would improve the safety of animals, as well as the broader community.
In order to create an e-petition through the House of Commons, a person must create a petitioner’s account and submit a draft. The petition must also receive the support of five Canadian citizens or residents, as well as authorization by a member of Parliament.
After being reviewed by the Clerk of Petitions, it can open to receive signatures for an allotted period of time. If it receives at least 500 signatures, it can then be presented to the House of Commons and table a government response.