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Council debates use of ‘silent fireworks’ to stop pet and wildlife distress

PUBLISHED: 07:04 18 December 2019 | UPDATED: 08:05 18 December 2019

A council has debated the use of silent fireworks in an effort to make displays less distressing to pets and wildlife. Pictured, Cromer fireworks. Photo: James Horne/Blue Sky UAV

A council has debated the use of silent fireworks in an effort to make displays less distressing to pets and wildlife. Pictured, Cromer fireworks. Photo: James Horne/Blue Sky UAV

Archant

A council has debated the use of “silent fireworks” in an effort to make displays less distressing to pets and wildlife.

North Norfolk District Council (NDDC) debated encouraging the use of "quieter fireworks" during public displays in the area at a meeting on Tuesday, December 17.

But plans to clamp down on noisier displays hit a roadblock after councillors instead agreed to reconsider the policy.

John Rest, independent group leader, who brought the motion to the council, wanted all public fireworks displays to be advertised in advance, so people could take precautions; to promote an awareness campaign about the impact of animals and vulnerable people and to "encourage local suppliers of fireworks to stock 'quieter' fireworks for public display, as currently used in Italy and France".

He said: "Fireworks can cause significant problems and fear for other people and animals.

"They can be a source of fear and distress for many animals, including pet animals, farm livestock and wildlife.

"Animals affected not only suffer psychological distress but can also cause themselves injuries, sometimes very serious ones, as they attempt to run away or hide from the noise."

But councillors did not all agree on the plans.

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Tim Adams, Liberal Democrat councillor, said: "I understand the reasons why this motion has been submitted [but] can't support this motion.

"Setting off fireworks isn't deemed a regulatory act under the Environmental Health Act.

"There are no powers to act if people are not following these rules.

"The existence of silent fireworks is also dubious."

Angie Fitch-Tillett, independent councillor, added: "I will wholeheartedly support this motion.

"I should like it to go further - I should like fireworks only to be released on November 5, public holidays and events like the Cromer New Year's Day fireworks and the carnival fireworks."

Councillors instead agreed to return the motion to the licensing committee for changes, with all bar one councillor voting for the move.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Rest, who abstained on the vote, said: "I thought it should have gone through now.

"To go back to licensing is going to take more time.


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