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Call to end firework distress for pets



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A dog owner whose pet is suffering severe stress due to fireworks in Stansted is calling for tougher restrictions on when they can be used.

Clare Hughes fears her 10-year-old Jack Russell Morph will have a heart attack he suffers so badly from anxiety brought on by the loud bangs and the 10-day period around November 5 was proving extremely traumatic for the whole family.

“The fireworks started on Thursday (October 31) and have been every night since and then there will be then more again on Friday and Saturday night. The knock-on effect of these small firework displays in people’s back gardens is tremendous - if you get 20-30 houses doing that in the village it goes on for about four or five hours and they are so loud our house shakes,” she said.

Lower Street, Stansted Mountfitchet. Clare Hughes with Morph the Jack Russell. Morph is terrified of fireworks and the last few days have been a nightmare. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (20829416)
Lower Street, Stansted Mountfitchet. Clare Hughes with Morph the Jack Russell. Morph is terrified of fireworks and the last few days have been a nightmare. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (20829416)

“It normally starts as soon as it gets dark and has been all around us in very close proximity in Lower Street. As soon as Morph hears one he starts to shake and pant heavily and paces around. He can’t be left alone in a room and is desperately frightened.”

The mum of two said she took him to the vets every year where he was prescribed sedatives, but they were not always effective at calming him down.

“I completely understand everybody wanting to enjoy fireworks, but it needs to be on just one night of the year or at an organised event. And it’s not just Morph, I imagine there are terrified cats, dogs or rabbits in gardens all over the village, not to mentioned farm animals and horses nearby.”

Lower Street, Stansted Mountfitchet. Clare Hughes with Morph the Jack Russell. Morph is terrified of fireworks and the last few days have been a nightmare. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (20829421)
Lower Street, Stansted Mountfitchet. Clare Hughes with Morph the Jack Russell. Morph is terrified of fireworks and the last few days have been a nightmare. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (20829421)

She added: “You wouldn’t walk past a dog in the street if you saw it in that state and think nothing of it. But that’s what people are doing - they are not seeing the effects it has on animals.”

Cllr Fran Richards, vice-chairman of Stansted Parish Council, said her dog had also been frightened and she was not alone with many residents complaining at the noise and distress caused to their pets.

“I certainly noticed the fireworks being very noisy on Sunday night and the animals do find it very distressing.”

Uttlesford District Council said it had not received any noise complaints while police reported Saturday’s organised display at Forest Hall School went ahead without any problems and no incidents of anti-social behaviour had been reported by officers out on patrol.

The RSPCA, which has released a new report highlighting the stress fireworks cause to animals, is calling for their use to be restricted to specific dates.

The charity, which receives hundreds of calls every year, said there should also be a noise restriction on the maximum level of decibels fireworks can reach and all public displays should be licensed and advertised in advance.



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