Talk of Fireworks Ban Prompts PETA Proposal

PETA Calls on Tybee Island Officials to Prohibit Loud Fireworks Displays and Give a Green Light to Stunning Silent Ones

For Immediate Release:
July 20, 2017

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Savannah, Ga. – In the wake of reports that the Tybee Island City Council is considering a ban on setting off fireworks on city property without a special permit, PETA sent a letter to Tybee’s mayor today proposing that the city go one step further and allow only silent fireworks under the permit, which would foster a stress-free environment for animals who panic when they hear the war-like explosions of traditional fireworks.

In its letter, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—points out that animal shelters see a spike in the number of lost dogs following loud fireworks displays, and the noise can also scare wildlife onto roads, where they’re likely to be injured or killed by vehicles. And the stress isn’t limited to animals: Veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder can also be disturbed by the noise of the explosives.

“Rich in color and choreography, silent fireworks displays deliver all the flash without the fright,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA urges the mayor to make a bang by outlawing havoc-wreaking loud fireworks and permitting only their quiet counterparts.”

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PETA’s letter to Tybee Island Mayor Jason Buelterman follows.

July 20, 2017

The Honorable Jason Buelterman


Tybee Island

Via e-mail: [email protected]

Dear Mayor Buelterman,

I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including thousands in Georgia, in response to Tybee Island City Council’s consideration of a ban on setting off fireworks on the beach, in parks, and on other city-owned property without a special permit. We have a proposal that I hope will spark (sorry) your interest: Please ban fireworks altogether or allow only silent fireworks with a special permit in order to create a stress-free environment for all Tybee’s residents.

Richer in color effects and visual choreography than conventional fireworks, silent fireworks offer a stress-free celebration for noise-sensitive animals, children, veterans, and elderly people. Animal shelters see a large increase in the number of lost dogsfollowing traditional fireworks displays. Often, dogs go missing because they panic and jump over fences or break free from chains. Some even jump through glass windows in order to get away from the terrifying sounds. Many animals arrive at shelters with bloody paws and broken bones. Some are never reunited with their families, and others are doomed to an even worse fate. This panic is also felt by wildlife, such as deer and coyotes, who flee onto roads, where they may be killed and endanger drivers. The loud blasts cause birds to fly into chimneys and houses—and even to abandon their nests and young.

The stress caused by these displays is not 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. Tybee residents called the city with numerous complaints throughout the week of July Fourth, and Council Member Barry Brown mentioned concerns about fireworks setting homes ablaze—you could address both concerns by banning all but silent fireworks and requiring a $100 permit to use those.

By allowing only silent fireworks, you’ll be able to ensure all the flash without the frightening noise of conventional fireworks while improving the quality of life for all who call Tybee Island home. Thank you for your time. We look forward to hearing from you.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind