Fireworks, Fear and Our Fellow Beings

The West Wight Sangha is located in Totland near to the Needles which were recently voted one of the most naturally stunning UK landmarks. The Needles and their adjoining headland form one side of Alum bay, home to the Needles Pleasure Park which is shortly to commence it’s season of ‘Music and Magic in the Skies’ evenings, described as a pyromusical extravaganza every Thursday night from the end of July to the end of August. In short, fireworks apparently with even more added noise.

In the past I’ve enjoyed these displays myself and don’t want to be a killjoy about them but seeing the sheer terror they induce in our now elderly dog I dread this time of year. It used to be that there were a spate of fireworks around Bonfire Night (traditional British Catholic burning celebration) and that would be it, with the exception of the Cowes Week fireworks, until next year. Now it seems that any excuse, celebratory or just commercial, is enough to justify more explosions and more petrified animals.

The explosions caused by fireworks are known to cause some domestic pets heart problems, nausea, tremors, debilitating fears and dizziness. We all know that animals have far more sensitive hearing than us so it’s not surprising that firework displays can leave pets severely stressed.

To add to the misery, Blackgang Chine (the UK’s oldest amusement park) which is the other end of the Military Road from us is also having massive fireworks displays over the same period – only theirs are on Wednesday nights to spread the fear around!

But it doesn’t have to be this way. The people of the town of Collecchio in the province of Parma in Italy are doing something about it. The local government has introduced new legislation forcing citizens to use silent fireworks as a way of respecting the animals and reducing the stress caused them.

The fireworks are made by Setti Fireworks and produce a spectacular light show but without the deafening sounds normally associated with a firework display. They design their fireworks to fit the venue and the event that they will be used for.

I won’t hold my breath waiting for the Isle of Wight Council to enact a similar regulation.

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