Complaints About Illegal Fireworks Spark PETA Plea for Ban

For Immediate Release:
December 22, 2021

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382


It’s only legal to set off certain fireworks in Oahu a few days a year, including on New Year’s Eve—but local residents are complaining of fireworks booming nightly since October, prompting PETA to send a letter this morning to Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi asking him to ban all fireworks year-round. And to help mitigate the illegal blasts in the meantime, PETA is offering to provide the mayor’s office with free posters to put up around town asking people to celebrate without the big bangs.

PETA notes that every time fireworks go off, animal shelters see a spike in lost dogs and other animals who have jumped fences, broken through doors, or otherwise fled the noise. The blasts also cause panicked wildlife to flee onto roads and can be deeply distressing to military veterans and other noise-sensitive individuals.

“After months of enduring illegal fireworks, the last thing that Oahu’s vulnerable residents of all species need is to close out 2021 with more terrifying blasts,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is encouraging Mayor Blangiardi to let fireworks fizzle for the sake of everyone who calls the island home.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Blangiardi follows.

December 22, 2021

The Honorable Rick Blangiardi
Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu

Dear Mayor Blangiardi:

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals—PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters globally, including many in Oahu—in response to complaints that illegal fireworks have been booming in Oahu neighborhoods since October. We commend you for the steps that you’ve already taken to mitigate the effects of fireworks and strongly urge you to consider introducing a year-round ban on all fireworks—including for special events and cultural celebrations—so that Oahu’s noise-sensitive wildlife, domestic animals, children, veterans, and elderly people can enjoy quieter, less stressful celebrations.

As you may know, fireworks cause animals to panic. Terrified dogs, hearing “bombs bursting in air,” climb, break, or dig their way out of wherever they are as they frantically try to escape the chaos, resulting in increased intakes at shelters, straining community resources. Many arrive with bloody paws and some with broken bones. Some are never reunited with their families, and others are doomed to a worse fate—hit by cars or strangled when their collars become caught on fences as they clamber or jump over.

Fireworks also produce plumes of smoke laden with particles that are harmful to the respiratory systems of humans and other animals. Birds caught in or near fireworks displays choke on the toxic residue. And as most birds cannot see well in the dark, this type of disruption can lead to injuries if they inadvertently crash into power lines, cars, buildings, trees, or each other. A fireworks display on New Year’s Eve was the likely cause of the deaths of hundreds of birds found on Kailua Beach, and in another instance on the same holiday, 5,000 birds died in Arkansas after a fireworks display caused them to take flight and slam into objects such as houses and cars. The stress caused by fireworks isn’t limited to animals: Veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder are sensitive to and can be deeply disturbed by the noise of the explosives.

While you take this information into consideration, please allow us to send you some complimentary posters to place around the city in order to remind residents that fireworks frighten animals and encourage them to celebrate without fireworks for the sake of all Oahu’s denizens.

Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid Newkirk

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