How fireworks hurt our pets during the festive season

Last year, just as the New Year came into being and residents celebrated, Marcus, a Rhodesian ridgeback was terrified by the sound of fireworks going off nearby.

He was so terrified that he ran through the gate and disappeared for 84 days. His worried owners searched and eventually found him in Delta Park after he had gone completely feral.

This year, an initiative has been started by the Spanish Coalition under the banner, Shush Blairgowrie to educate residents and curb the use of illegal fireworks.

Peet Engelbrecht from the Spanish Coalition said that the campaign was aimed at educating residents on the do’s and don’ts of fireworks.

“Most residents are not aware of some of the bylaws that surround the legal use of fireworks and setting off fireworks that may have repercussions. This campaign is set to start with the individual and we are hoping that residents think twice about lighting up fireworks this year,” he said.

Engelbrecht explained that residents should also be made aware of the correct channels where they can complain about fireworks, and encouraged them that where the bylaws were breached they should lay complaints with the Johannesburg Metro Police Department.

He further noted that every year there was a fireworks display at Bright Water Commons and residents could go and watch the display there, as it was within the bylaws.

Engelbrecht pointed out the following:

  • Igniting fireworks inside any building is illegal
  • Igniting fireworks within 500-metres of a petrol station is illegal
  • Igniting fireworks at any public place, school, old age home and hospital is illegal
  • Selling fireworks without the required licence in terms of the Explosives Act is illegal
  • Dealing in fireworks without written authority of the Chief Fire Officer is illegal
  • Selling fireworks to a child under the age of 16 is illegal
  • Igniting fireworks in any place where animals are present is illegal
  • Igniting a fireworks display without the Council’s authorisation is illegal
  • A minor igniting fireworks is illegal
  • Igniting a fireworks display without a qualified explosives expert present is illegal.

Related Article: 84 Dog nights

Gaahele Mokgoro

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