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Cambridge City Council hears calls for fireworks noise limit to help distressed pets



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Calls for a legal noise limit for fireworks have been made by councillors, to help end the ‘trauma’ for pets.

Cambridge fireworks on Midsummer Common Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge fireworks on Midsummer Common Picture: Keith Heppell

The impact of loud fireworks on animals was highlighted at Cambridge City Council’s full council meeting on Thursday (July 21).

A motion put forward by Cllr Richard Robertson (Lab, Petersfield) highlighted that studies had found fireworks to be the most common cause for fear responses in dogs, as well as impacts on other animals.

Deputy leader Cllr Alex Collis (Lab, King’s Hedges), executive councillor for open spaces, food justice and community development, said that if people had not seen the impact on animals first hand then they may not understand “just how distressing it is”.

She said: “Even one traumatised pet is too many and I think our pets deserve better.”

Cllr Collis said the motion was not “anti-fireworks” but a challenge for there to be “attractive displays just without the noise”.

Cllr Collis added the aim for the motion was also to raise awareness in the wider public to help people understand the impact the loud fireworks can have on animals.

Cllr Robert Dryden (Lab, Cherry Hinton) said they did not want to be seen as a “killjoy”, but said he had received “more and more” complaints about fireworks being let off all year round and said it was the unregulated letting off of fireworks that was the main concern for pet owners in Cambridgeshire.

An amendment was proposed by Cllr Katie Porrer (Lib Dem, Market) to also investigate the use of fireworks and firework equivalents that reduce carbon release and reduce noise, and to work with the University of Cambridge and colleges as well as other stakeholders.

The amendment was not supported by the administration, but Cllr Collis said this work was already taking place.

The city council agreed to encourage organisers of all public fireworks displays in the area to advertise the events in advance to give people the chance to take precautions to help animals and vulnerable people.

It was also agreed that the city council should “actively promote” a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people.

The city council will also be writing to central government to urge for legislation to be introduced limiting the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90dB for those sold to public and private displays.

The authority also agreed to encourage fireworks suppliers in the area to stock ‘quieter’ fireworks.



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