Horses were 'running in blind panic' over Bonfire weekend

The British Horse Society say they received reports of horses “running in blind panic” over Bonfire weekend due to the stress and trauma caused by fireworks.

The BHS is urging people to think before setting off fireworks near horses and other livestock.

There were 25 incidents involving fireworks reported to the charity over the weekend, with four horses being injured.

In Lincolnshire, one horse called Willow was severely injured after fleeing from fireworks that were set off near her paddock. 

In her panic, she jumped out of her paddock and ran onto the A57 and was hit by a car. 

The car in Lincolnshire after the accident on the A57 (Pic: Oakham Veterinary Hospital Equine)

The car in Lincolnshire after the accident on the A57 (Pic: Oakham Veterinary Hospital Equine)

She was injured badly, but thankfully survived the accident and has been undergoing treatment at Oakham Veterinary Hospital for her injuries. 

Willow's owner told the BHS: “Willow has experienced the most traumatic time of her life when there was no need for the pain, suffering and tragedy due to people’s negligence.

"Many people enjoy fireworks over bonfire and New Year but people fail to realise the effects they have on livestock, owners finances and repercussions when they are used by the general public”.

Willow is now recovering from her accident Pic: Oakham Veterinary Hospital Equine

Willow is now recovering from her accident Pic: Oakham Veterinary Hospital Equine

Since 2010, 168 incidents have been reported. Tragically 49 horses have been injured and 11 horses have died as a result of fireworks being used near them.

The situation is so bad that some horse owners are getting vets out to sedate their horses.

One horse owner says their horse was spinning in the stables, another said her horse was “running in blind panic, dripping with sweat and absolutely terrified”.

Some owners have even reported of fireworks been let off just 10 yards away from their horses.

Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety at The British Horse Society, said: “These figures are just the tip of the iceberg and in reality the number of horses injured or even killed is much higher. Fireworks may be fun for humans, but we don’t want horses to go through trauma or distress.

"We urge anyone who is planning on setting off fireworks now, or next Bonfire Night, to reconsider, or at the very least, give horse owners in the area prior warning and listen to their concerns”.

A petition by Julie Doorne calling for a change of the laws governing fireworks use has received almost 100,000 signatures on the parliament website.

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