Fire­works threat to animals

Sunday Sun - - News - KATIE BEL­LIS katie.bel­lis@reach­plc.com

Reporter A HORSE lover is mourn­ing the an­niver­sary of the death of her mount Solo af­ter a bon­fire dis­play sent it into a deadly panic.

Dev­as­tated owner Fiona Hohmann re­leased dis­tress­ing pho­tographs of her horse Solo to show the re­al­ity of what fire­works can do to animals.

The 57-year-old had owned the horse for nearly five years. This is how you can help keep your pets safe on Bon­fire night .

Al­most a year on, she told WalesOn­line: “I don’t want to spoil peo­ple’s fun and on Bon­fire Night you can pre­pare for fire­works and just get on with it.

“A week af­ter bon­fire night, fire­works should not be al­lowed to take place. How was I sup­posed to know that a dis­play would be go­ing off.

“I know first hand just how scared Solo is of fire­works. On Bon­fire Night I locked him in­side his sta­ble and I stayed with him un­til mid­night to calm him down.

“When the vet ar­rived they said that they were left with no choice but to put him down. He was deeply loved and he will be missed.”

It is il­le­gal to set off fire­works near live­stock or horses in fields, or close to build­ings that house live­stock. The of­fence car­ries a fine of up to £20,000 Fiona Hohmann, from Mur­ton, who has been left dev­as­tated af­ter her horse died of shock and/or a prison term of up to six months.

It is against the law to set off fire­works be­tween the hours of 11pm and 7am, ex­cept on Bon­fire Night when the cut-off is mid­night, and New Year’s Eve, Di­wali and Chi­nese New Year, when the cur­few is 1am.

A spokesman for the RSPCA said: “Many animals, of all shapes and sizes, find fire­works fright­en­ing, and it is im­por­tant for peo­ple to re­main re­spon­si­ble and bear in mind that animals may be­come con­fused, dis­tressed and can even go into shock when fire­works are let off in or around their im­me­di­ate sur­round­ings.

“Many animals have very acute hear­ing and suf­fer greatly from stress as a re­sult of fire­work dis­plays. Not only this, but fire­works can also in some cir­cum­stances be ex­tremely dan­ger­ous and can re­sult in se­ri­ous in­juries or even death to an an­i­mal.

“We would al­ways ad­vise that peo­ple should never set off fire­works close to any an­i­mal and wher­ever pos­si­ble, peo­ple should tell their neigh­bours of any plans for a dis­play in ad­vance so that pet own­ers have time to ef­fec­tively pre­pare and keep their animals calm and safe.

“In a sit­u­a­tion where set­ting them off near animals and wildlife can­not be avoided, fire­works should be di­rected well away from any animals nearby and should at­tempt to cause the least dis­rup­tion pos­si­ble.

“If you find an an­i­mal that you think may be suf­fer­ing or in shock as a re­sult of fire­works please con­tact a lo­cal vet im­me­di­ately for ad­vice or, in the in­stance of a cru­elty in­ci­dent, please con­tact our na­tional cru­elty line on 0300 1234 999.”

JONATHAN MY­ERS

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