Fireworks Cancellation Nets Praise From PETA—and a Plea for a Permanent Ban

For Immediate Release:
June 15, 2021

Tapi Mbundure 202-483-7382

Manchester, N.H.

A box of animal-shaped vegan chocolates from Divine Treasures is on its way from PETA to Hampton Beach Village District Chair Chuck Rage along with a letter thanking him for canceling fireworks shows for two weeks to safeguard the nesting season of the beach’s piping plovers.

PETA’s letter asks Rage to go one step further and make the ban permanent, as fireworks at any time can cause panicked birds to abandon their nests or fly into buildings, wildlife to flee onto roads, and dogs to jump fences and even break through glass doors in order to escape the terrifying noises. Military veterans and other noise-sensitive individuals can also become deeply distressed by the sounds.

“Booms and blasts threaten the well-being of everyone, from piping plovers to those with PTSD,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is encouraging local officials to let fireworks fizzle for good and promote fun, animal-friendly festivities that leave the most vulnerable among us in peace.”

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 TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Rage follows.

June 15, 2021

Chuck Rage

Hampton Selectman

Hampton Beach Village District

Dear Mr. Rage:

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including many across New Hampshire, in response to your decision to cancel fireworks on Hampton Beach during the piping plovers’ nesting season. Thank you for protecting vulnerable animals, including humans, by canceling this display. Please, will you make this cancellation permanent to protect all residents of Hampton Beach?

Traditional fireworks sound like an all-out war—not only to those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder but also to dogs, cats, and wildlife—and their use has devastating consequences. Terrified dogs climb or dig their way out of fenced-in yards as they frantically try to escape the chaos, resulting in increased stray-animal intakes at shelters across the nation, which further strains community resources. Many arrive with bloody paws or broken bones, some are never reunited with their families, and others are doomed to a worse fate.

Fireworks 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 easily choke on the toxic residue. The California Coastal Commission banned the city of Gualala’s display when, following a 2006 show, seabirds fled their nests, leaving their chicks vulnerable to predators. Most birds cannot see well in the dark, so this type of disruption can lead to injuries if they inadvertently crash into power lines, cars, buildings, trees, or each other. In one case, 5,000 birds died on a New Year’s Eve in Arkansas after a fireworks display caused them to take flight and slam into objects such as houses and cars.

In addition, humans have been injured in fireworks accidents, and the displays can exacerbate asthma and other respiratory problems. Veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder are also sensitive to and can be deeply disturbed by the noise of the explosives and the smell of the gunpowder. On average, 180 people go to emergency rooms daily with fireworks-related injuries for an entire month around July 4.

We hope you’ll consider financing other celebratory displays and skip the fireworks this year. Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid Newkirk


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