FIREWORKS may be beautiful and exciting for us, but for animals they can be terrifying. Cats and dogs are reduced to fearful, shivering wrecks; sheep can spontaneously abort; horses gallop into fences; and rabbits have been known to die from the shock.
However, there are steps we can take to minimise their suffering. Firstly, please consider attending a public fireworks display rather than setting them off in your back garden.
One central display will scare fewer animals, and is likely to be set further away from homes and their animal inhabitants.
Keep cats and dogs indoors from the afternoon onwards and bring rabbits and guinea pigs inside as well (or at least cover their home with a thick blanket to muffle the noise).
Also, be sure to check that hedgehogs and other wild animals have not made a home in your bonfire before you light it.
Have a happy, and safe, fireworks night!
Ashley Owen, Animal Aid, Kent