Public reminded: Firecrackers bad for pets
MANILA, Philippines – An animal welfare group and an environmental advocacy organization have warned the public against the use of firecrackers, as it poses several dangers for pets because they have a heightened sense of hearing.
According to the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (Paws) and the EcoWaste Coalition, exploding firecrackers cause stress among cats and dogs, who are more sensitive to sounds as compared to human beings.
“The loud bangs, booms, crackling noises and whistles from firecrackers and fireworks are distressing for cats and dogs who are gifted with highly sensitive hearing,” Paws executive director Anna Cabrera said in a joint statement on Friday.
“The thunderous sounds and flashing lights, especially on the days and hours leading to the New Year, provide no entertainment to our furry friends who are terrified and threatened by the noisy and warlike festivities,” she added.
The groups said that stress due to firecrackers may be alleviated by exercising the pets in the morning so that they would sleep at night. They also urged pet owners to refrain from chaining pets, and instead play relaxing music to drown the sounds of firecrackers.
But aside from the danger of noise, EcoWaste’s Chemical Safety Campaigner Thony Dizon also pointed out that air pollution caused by the pyrotechnic displays and firecrackers are also harmful to pets, as it may lead to disorientation and other problems.
“The air pollution from the ignition of firecrackers and fireworks that may cause disorientation, appetite loss and upset stomach among exposed cats and dogs,” Dizon explained.
“The ingestion of firecrackers and fireworks and their fragments and residues, which are loaded with hazardous substances, may also cause chemical poisoning in cats and dogs,” he added.
Cabrera also warned that throwing firecrackers at pets is an act punishable by law.
“With no safe space to go, the Asong Pinoys and Pusang Pinoys on the streets are more scared and traumatized when firecrackers are directly thrown at them by uncaring individuals who derive pleasure in seeing them run away in fear,” she said.
“If we stop using firecrackers, humans, and animals would both be better off — as we do not add to the air and noise pollution — and we focus on other peaceful, more productive and less harmful ways to usher in the new year,” she added. “Celebrating with family and friends without firecrackers is possible — if we care for the welfare of our furry friends.”
Using firecrackers to welcome the new year is a tradition for Filipinos who believe that exploding firecrackers drive away bad luck and misfortune despite the dangers posed by illegal and powerful firecrackers.
President Rodrigo Duterte has issued an executive order limiting the use of fireworks and firecrackers, in an attempt to curb the number of injuries. The Department of Health (DOH) recorded a 68 percent drop in the number of firecracker incidents as Filipinos welcomed 2019.
This year, DOH said at least 19 have been injured due to firecrackers explosions.
Edited by MUF
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