Vancouver Urged to Ban Fireworks on Halloween—for Everyone’s Sake

'Fireworks Terrify Cats and Dogs,' Say PETA Posters in Bid to Curb Use of the Harmful Explosives

For Immediate Release:
October 9, 2018

Contact:
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Vancouver – Vancouver allows residents with a permit to set off fireworks on Halloween, prompting PETA to send a letter urging Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vancouver City Council members to protect dogs, cats, wildlife, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) sufferers, and other noise-sensitive individuals by extending the city’s year-round consumer fireworks ban to include October 31. The group also offered to send posters for officials to place around the city urging revellers to celebrate the holiday without fireworks.

In the letter, PETA points to the case of a dog, Maggie, who was killed by a train after she panicked and ran off during a fireworks display on Halloween in 2016. Her story isn’t unusual: Animal shelters see a spike in the number of lost dogs following such displays. They’ve been known to jump fences and even break through glass doors in their efforts to escape the terrifying noise. The blasts can also cause wildlife to run onto roads or into buildings or to abandon their nests. And people who suffer from PTSD—including some combat veterans—often experience fear and panic at the sounds of exploding fireworks, particularly when they occur without warning.

“Halloween is supposed to be spooky in a fun way, but booming fireworks bring real-life terror to animals and others who are sensitive to loud noises,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA asks that Vancouver embrace a fireworks-free Halloween and celebrate the holiday with pumpkin carving, bobbing for apples, and other activities that are friendly to all.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—encourages families to protect their animal companions during fireworks displays by keeping them indoors (and, if possible, staying with them), never leaving them tethered outside, closing the blinds, and turning on a loud fan, music, or the television to help drown out the noises. Guardians should also ensure that animal companions are wearing collars with current identification tags and that they’re microchipped.

PETA’s letter is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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“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