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Frank L. Hoffman
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Letter to All Victorian Councils About Fireworks - 15 Feb 2005

BALLARAT ORGANISATION FOR ANIMAL RIGHTS
c/- 80 Moores Road, Monbulk, 3793. Phone: 9752 0361
Email: jennymoxham@hotmail.com
www.goldlinksweb.com/boar 

15/2/05

LETTER TO ALL VICTORIAN COUNCILS RE. FIREWORKS

To:

We the undersigned Victorian groups call on __________ to set an example to the community at large by no longer staging firework displays at council organized events.

What’s wrong with fireworks?

Firstly, they harm animals.

The deafening explosions and bright flashing lights cause blind panic in animals. (Dogs have been known to smash through fences and glass windows trying to escape from the terrifying scenario.) As panic stricken animals run for their lives they may be hit by cars and injured or killed. (Injuries to humans may result too.)

Animal shelters find themselves inundated with exhausted, traumatized animals and those not claimed by their owners or unable to find new homes face ‘death row’.

Fireworks can cause old and nervous dogs …as well as easily frightened animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs … to have panic or heart attacks.

Most animals have extremely sensitive ears and cats and dogs exposed to a bursting fire cracker may endure long lasting trauma and possible ear damage.

Whilst publicising forthcoming firework displays can alleviate some of the problems, it will not eliminate them. Even those animals safely confined inside their homes may exhibit symptoms of anxiety such as hiding under beds, panting and trembling. This chronic fear lasts long after the event and a fearful dog will become less reliable around children and adults.

Wild animals and birds in the vicinity of fireworks are equally traumatised by the explosions. Birds can be frightened off their nests, resulting in the deaths of their chicks, and migrating birds can be frightened off course. Birds can become disorientated for quite some time because of the unexpected glare of fireworks and in poor light they are then very vulnerable to accidents. Swans, ducks and chickens have reportedly died of fright.

Frightened livestock will also try to run away, and unless they are in a safe and secure place there is a very real risk they will get caught in fences, or break through fences or gates onto the roads. Horses and cows have been killed trying to escape.

Secondly, they harm humans.

The use of fireworks causes an increasing threat to human health. Air born chemical particles have been linked to lung cancer, heart attacks and premature deaths. During the Stockholm Water Festival in 1996, air pollutant levels were measured before and after the display. Levels of air-borne arsenic were found to be twice normal, while levels of mercury, cadmium, lead, copper, zinc and chromium were as high as 500 times above normal. The exposure to fireworks constitutes a direct risk to people with asthma, metal allergies and chemical sensitivities.

Fireworks can cause permanent ear damage. Irreversible ear damage such as tinnitus and loss of hearing, starts at the 80 decibel range. The noise level generated by fireworks (up to 190 decibels) is higher than the noise from gunshots (140 decibels) and low level flying jets (100 decibels).

With so many people suing these days, what might be the likely scenario in the future with regard to hearing loss caused by council firework shows?

Thirdly, they harm the environment.

Fireworks pollute the air and the environment. The poisonous chemicals and particle-laden smoke released into the environment cause contamination which, in turn, poses a threat to native bird and animal life in the vicinity.

These detrimental effects of fireworks are being experienced world wide and whilst much of the trauma to animals results from privately detonated fireworks, we need to get to the root of the problem and ask ourselves why the’ illegal fireworks’ problem is so widespread.

The answer is simple. Firework shows are being promoted by councils and organizations world wide as the ultimate way to party! Is it any wonder millions of others want to emulate them.

But just consider how different things would be if councils publicly voiced their opposition to any form of entertainment known to harm others. The glamour and appeal of fireworks would diminish and they would be seen for what they really are: animal traumatising, environmentally polluting, health harming explosions!

Fireworks would join the ranks of cigarette smoking in their public undesirability.

Whilst it may be argued that firework displays are well attended, this is not a valid reason for continuing … and hence promoting … something which knowingly causes harm.

Consequently, we the undersigned, sincerely request that you demonstrate your concern for animals, people and the environment by no longer celebrating with fire works.

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Burwood East.

The Australian & New Zealand Federation of Animal Societies (ANZFAS) Collingwood.

Ballarat Organisation for Animal Rights, Ballarat.(BOAR)

North Melbourne Lost Dogs Home.
Victorian Animal Aid Trust, Coldstream.
Australian Animal Protection Society, Keysborough
Victorian Animal Welfare Association, Nth. Carlton.
Blue Cross Society Inc., Wonga Park.
Humane Society for Animal Welfare, Nth Melbourne.
Australian Wildlife Protection Council, Melbourne.
Save a Dog Scheme, Malvern.
Dogaid, Karingal.
Donkey Shelter Incorporated, Yarrambat.
Wildlife in a Secure Environment (The WISE Trust) Hawthorn East.
The Australian Catholic Study Circle for Animal Welfare, Parkville.
Freedom for Birds Inc., Mt. Evelyn.
Greyhound Action Australia, East Brunswick.
Choose Cruelty Free, Nth Melbourne.
Animal Active, The Australian Animal Rights Network Inc. Parkville.
Animal Liberation Victoria, Melbourne.
Animal Action, Cheltenham.
Humane Charities Australia, Noble Park Nth.
Animals Matter TV
Best Behaviour D.O.G.S., Heathmont.
South Parkville Precinct Environmental Group.
Lort Smith Animal Hospital, Nth. Melbourne.
All Creatures Veterinary Clinic, Montrose.
Animal Natural Health, Thornbury.
Aspendale Gardens Veterinary Hospital.
Box Hill Veterinary Hospital.
Dandenong Veterinary Hospital.
Chelsea Veterinary Clinic.
Clayton Veterinary Hospital.
Doncaster Veterinary Hospital.
East Doncaster Veterinary Hospital.
Ferntree Gully Veterinary Hospital.
Karingal Veterinary Hospital.
Keysborough Veterinary Practice.
Lilydale Veterinary Centre.
Lower Plenty Veterinary Clinic.
Manningham Veterinary Clinic, Bulleen.
Manuka Veterinary Clinic, Berwick.
Mentone Veterinary Clinic.
Mooroolbark Veterinary Clinic.
Noble Park Animal Hospital.
Northcote Plaza Veterinary Clinic.
Parkdale Veterinary Clinic
Patterson River Veterinary Centre.
Patterson Lakes Animal Hospital.
Yarra Ranges Animal Hospital, Lilydale.

Yours sincerely,

Jenny Moxham
Fireworks Campaign Director BOAR.

Could this letter please be tabled at your next meeting and a response sent to me.

We welcome your comments


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