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Woman whose sheep was injured by stray fireworks issues bonfire night warning

PUBLISHED: 13:51 05 November 2018 | UPDATED: 14:23 05 November 2018

The Fletcher family. Picture: Sally Fletcher

The Fletcher family. Picture: Sally Fletcher

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A Norfolk mother whose sheep was frightened and injured by a rogue firework has urged people to take extra care on bonfire night.

Fireworks left on the field where Sally Fishers Livestock graze. Picture: Sally FletcherFireworks left on the field where Sally Fishers Livestock graze. Picture: Sally Fletcher

Mother-of-three Sally Fletcher has been keeping ponies and sheep for five years and sees them as her pets

An incident on New Year’s Eve last year left one of her sheep injured.

The 44-year-old, from Stratton Road, Hainford, said: “People around my field have been setting of fireworks for the past two years. Last year one of my sheep ran in panic after a rocket was set off right above the paddock.

“The sheep twisted its leg and needed medical attention, it could barely walk and was very distressed.

The sheep on the right hand side was injured by running from the fireworks on New Years Eve 2018. Picture: Sally FletcherThe sheep on the right hand side was injured by running from the fireworks on New Years Eve 2018. Picture: Sally Fletcher

“One firework landed right next to a hay bale, the damage could have been so much worse.”

Mrs Fletcher said: “I don’t mind bonfire night, I’m all for any traditional celebration. What I have a problem with is people setting off fireworks over my field, without permission and putting my animals in danger.

“When I was a child we used to have firework displays in the back garden, but they were much smaller then.

“People need to be aware of harming other people’s property and animals with fireworks, so many people forget that what goes up, must come down.

Sally Fletchers son, Sam, bottle feeding Nancy the sheep. Picture: Sally FletcherSally Fletchers son, Sam, bottle feeding Nancy the sheep. Picture: Sally Fletcher

Since the incident, Mrs Fletcher has been spreading the word about livestock safety and fireworks.

Animals have very acute hearing, loud bangs and whistles may cause them actual pain in their ears, making them distressed.

Mrs Fletcher said: “I have spoken to my parish council who have put up posters on our village notice boards.

“My livestock are my pets, I love them like I love my cats and dogs.

Eddie the pony looking after the flook. Picture: Sally FletcherEddie the pony looking after the flook. Picture: Sally Fletcher

“When my animals were distressed earlier this year, it made me feel scared and physically sick.”

For more information on how to keep your pet’s safe, visit the Blue Cross website.

Blue Cross guidelines for livestock owners:

Sally Fletcher's daughter, Harriet with Eddie the pony and a member of the flock. Picture: Sally FletcherSally Fletcher's daughter, Harriet with Eddie the pony and a member of the flock. Picture: Sally Fletcher

• Fireworks must not be set off near livestock or horses in fields, or close to buildings housing livestock. Anyone planning a firework display in a rural area should warn neighbouring farmers in advance.

• Tell neighbours and local fireworks display organisers there are horses nearby, so that they can ensure fireworks are set off in the opposite direction and well away from them.

• Keep your horse in a familiar environment, in their normal routine with any companions to make them feel secure.

• Ensure that you or someone experienced stays with your horse if you know fireworks are being set off.

Sally Fletchers son, Ben in his chair visiting the paddock. Picture: Sally FletcherSally Fletchers son, Ben in his chair visiting the paddock. Picture: Sally Fletcher

• If you know your horse reacts badly to loud noises speak to your vet or perhaps consider moving your horse for the night.

•Be careful yourself. Try not to get in the way if your horse becomes startled as you may get hurt.

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