Many people have enjoyed the brief thrill that fireworks bring; but that brief moment of joy for some has serious consequences for others.
2. Birds panic and flee, causing them harm and death.
When fireworks are set off, birds are frightened from their nest and take flight en masse. This shocking animation shows the “explosive movements” before and after fireworks were lit to ring in the new year in the Netherlands.
Birds aren’t equipped to fly at night, when fireworks displays are typically held, which puts them at a major risk of flying into objects such as trees, vehicles, and buildings. The most infamous case of mass bird deaths occurred in Arkansas, when New Year’s fireworks caused the deaths of about 5,000 birds.
4. Humans experience weapons-related PTSD.
Non-human animals are not the only ones who experience panic due to loud and bright fireworks. Humans who experience weapons-related PTSD, such as veterans and refugees from war zones, can be triggered by the explosive sounds. People with sensory processing disorders and some neurodivergent folks can also have difficulties with fireworks.
Three ways you can help
1. Learn your municipality’s regulations.
Does your municipality have a bylaw prohibiting fireworks? You can learn about various municipal bylaws around fireworks in this article or on your municipality’s website.
2. Contact your Mayor and Council
The City of Vancouver and the City of North Vancouver have banned the purchase and use of fireworks by consumers. If your municipality still allows consumer fireworks to be purchased and/or used, you can encourage them to follow this lead! Find contact information for your local decision-makers on your municipality’s website. Consider this template as a guide for your ask:
Hello, I am writing to express my concern about the use of fireworks in our municipality. Fireworks are harmful to the environment, animals, and humans. The loud sounds from fireworks cause pets to become frightened and flee their homes; cause wildlife to panic and run into roadways or fly into buildings; and trigger panic responses in individuals with weapons-related PTSD. The debris from fireworks harms our environment and pollutes our waterways. Other municipalities have taken steps to address these concerns. For instance, Banff and Canmore have introduced sound-free fireworks displays, while Vancouver and the City of North Vancouver have banned the sale and use of consumer fireworks. I implore you to follow their lead by introducing a bylaw to address the serious impacts of fireworks. I look forward to your response.
3. Share how fireworks impact you and your animal family members.
The more people learn about the serious consequences of fireworks, the more we can spread thoughtfulness and compassion in our celebrations. Please share your story below so that the VHS may share it in the future.
Thank you for protecting animals and opting for a fireworks-free celebration.