Horse owners urge public to sign petition banning sale of fireworks

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Horse owners are renewing calls for a ban on the sale of fireworks to the public, following the government’s decision to not extend legislation further.

A petition is being shared widely online and calls for a change to laws surrounding fireworks, including a ban on public use.

It has so far collected over 24,000 signatures, but needs 100,000 signatures for it to be considered for debate in parliament.  

Government previously responded to the petition stating: “Government takes the issue of firework safety very seriously. There is legislation in place that controls the sale, use and misuse of fireworks; we have no plans to extend this further.”

The petition follows a number of incidents surrounding horses and fireworks – including the tragic death of two horses living in the care of Redwings last year.

Nineteen-year-old, 12.2hh Welsh pony Sprite was found by a member of the charity’s team suffering from suspected colic; he was lying down, covered in sweat and breathing heavily. It's thought the colic was brought on by the stress and panic caused by the fireworks.

It's thought that Sprite's colic was brought on by the stress of the fireworks (Pic: Redwings)

It's thought that Sprite's colic was brought on by the stress of the fireworks (Pic: Redwings)

A second horse, 25 year old Percy, was found non-weight-bearing lame on his right front leg and in an incredible amount of pain. It's thought his injury was caused when he was running around the field at high speed, in panic from the fireworks. 

More recently, Michelle Horner, who owns five horses at her home in South Yorkshire, had one of her horses tried to escape from a paddock after fireworks were set off in the village where she lives.

She says: “There were very loud fireworks in someone’s back garden in our village. All five of our horses went into flight mode.

“They were all running around the field as fast as they could. My 14.3 Anglo Arab mare cut her inside hind, my 16.3hh ID mare jumped a fence to try to get away and my two ex-racers were dripping with sweat.

“We were very lucky that they were all turned out with boots on. It’s important that we make it clear to the government that steps must be taken.”

Just last weekend, a firework landed in a paddock in Lincoln, spooking a horse who leapt out of the paddock and into the path of a car on the A57.

The horses, who suffered extensive injuries but no broken bones, is said to be recovering at home.

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