A Nova Scotia horse owner is calling for the ban of consumer fireworks after spending another New Year’s Eve trying to keep her animals calm.
“It’s not uncommon for us to be standing out in the field or the barn with them on New Year’s Eve, waiting for the fireworks to die down, hoping that something horrible doesn’t happen,” Pam Levy told Global News Morning.
Levy, of Middle Musquodoboit, N.S., launched a Facebook group called Ban Private Fireworks in Nova Scotia, as well as a petition, after she heard a story first covered by the CBC of a horse in Canning, N.S., who got spooked by the noise, ran off, got injured, and had to be euthanized.
“I started the Facebook group first, thinking that if I could get 10 or 15 people to stand with me, maybe we could effect some sort of change,” she said.
“The Facebook group just blew up, I started the petition out of that.”
Since then, she’s received an “overwhelming response,” with more than 4,000 signatures on the petition as of Monday morning.
The petition said that the noise of fireworks can be dangerous for both domestic and wild animals, as the noise from them can cause them to “flee blindly.”
“Additionally, noise from fireworks can have a long lasting negative impact on people suffering from mental health disorders such as PTSD, as well as people with autism,” it said.
Levy said the group has had some pushback from people who say they can do whatever they want on their own property.
“I believe that people should do the things that they enjoy, to the point where it begins to harm other people,” she said.
“They’re not interested in the harm that their 15 minutes of fun could have.”
Levy said she and other group members have started a letter-writing campaign, where they are writing letters to their MLAs to ask for consumer fireworks to be banned.
The idea of banning or restricting fireworks has been a growing topic of interest in recent years.
On a municipal level, Halifax regional council has considered using “silent fireworks” for pyrotechnic displays, but that idea was scrapped over the summer.
Meanwhile, Vancouver banned the sale of consumer fireworks in late 2020, with a fine of up to $1,000 for those who don’t obey.