Pet owners forced to ‘desensitise’ animals as fireworks an increasing problem

Fireworks are illegal and being caught with them carries hefty fines and prison sentences
Pet owners forced to ‘desensitise’ animals as fireworks an increasing problem

Pet owners are being forced to “desensitise” their animals to loud noises as fireworks are becoming an increasing problem around the Halloween period, according to the Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA).

On Wednesday Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys launched a fireworks awareness campaign at the Dublin Fire Brigade Training Centre alongside members of An Garda Síochána, Dublin Fire Brigade and the ISPCA.

Fireworks are illegal and being caught with them carries hefty fines and prison sentences.

While pet owners are advised to keep their animals indoors and give them a safe space to hide from the noise of fireworks, ISPCA chief inspector Conor Dowling said the situation is worsening.

“Increasingly nowadays, fireworks are being let off for extended periods around Halloween, even weeks or months, so it can be very difficult for people to take those steps consistently over that period of time,” he said.

“Increasingly people are having to take drastic steps to desensitise their animals, by exposing them to similar noises at increasing volumes in the run-up to Halloween.”

Act responsibly

Chief Fire Officer in Dublin City Council, Dennis Keeley, urged people who plan to ignore the law to act responsibly.

“Never consume drugs and alcohol when using fireworks. Make sure children stand at a safe distance,” he said.

It comes as Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Mid-West, Mark Ward, said a surge in the constant use of fireworks is affecting people’s quality of life in the area.

A Garda operation to tackle the problem — as well as anti-social behaviour — is starting a month later this year compared to 2020.

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