SPCA cautions against fireworks as New Year's nears

2017-12-29 10:58
Jackson is a male Jack Russel crossbreed currently at the SPCA and looking for a forever home.

Jackson is a male Jack Russel crossbreed currently at the SPCA and looking for a forever home. (Supplied)

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The Cape of Good Hope (CoGH) SPCA is once again appealing to residents to consider the terrifying effects of fireworks on pets as New Year’s Day nears.

The organisation is completely opposed to the use of fireworks as it emits loud noises which are traumatic to animals with their wider hearing range than humans, and it may lead to them injuring themselves.

Animals who get spooked and try to escape the booming noises, are often hit and injured or killed by oncoming vehicles.

“Animals have been known to ‘fetch’ fireworks that have been lit and thrown with devastating consequences. Cruelly, some individuals find it entertaining to attach fireworks to animals causing extreme trauma and suffering,” says Tara McGovern, an SPCA spokesperson.

She adds the effects often last much longer than New Year’s Day, as animals’ behaviour can become nervous and aggressive and lead them to cause damage.

The law protects animals, stating it is illegal to “terrify any animal”.

“Yet, despite the SPCA’s efforts to educate the public on the dangers and legalities of using fireworks and lobbying government for a total ban on the use of fireworks, injuries and trauma to animals occurs each year during fireworks season,” McGovern says.

It is also illegal for children under 16 to buy fireworks, or for any person to sell them without a permit, or to use them at an undesignated site.

“Yet, despite this legislation, fireworks are still sold indiscriminately from many corner cafés and discharged at home where they pose a potential danger.”

McGovern says their inspectors will be on standby to respond to animal emergencies throughout the night of Old Year’s Eve.

They are encouraging the public to report any injured or distressed animals on 083 326 1604.

“Harming an animal with fireworks is viewed extremely seriously and will result in prosecution.”

Metro Police are also available 24/7 and can be reached on 021 596 1999 for those who wish to lodge complaints about firework activities, she says.

The City has named the following as this year’s designated areas for the discharge of fireworks:

Athlone Stadium parking area (eastern side), Klipfontein Road, Athlone

Wesfleur sports field, Reygersdal Drive, Atlantis

Bishop Lavis sports field, Lavis Drive, Bishop Lavis

Metropolitan sports grounds, Melkhout Street, BonteheuwelBlue Downs sports field, Blue Downs

Maiden’s Cove parking area, Victoria Road, Camps Bay

Delft Central sports grounds, Main Road, Delft

Macassar Beach parking area, Macassar Road, Macassar

Swartklip sports complex, Swartklip Road, Mitchells Plain

Sarepta sports complex, Sarepta

Strandfontein Pavilion, Strandfontein

Tourism Centre, Athens Road, Table View beachfront (with the following road closures: Marine Drive between Dolphin Beach Hotel and Marine Circle; Waves Edge will be closed off at Athens Road, Popham and Dunbar Streets)

Law Enforcement as well as Metro Police will patrol the fireworks areas.

Should weather conditions such as the wind not be conducive to the discharge of fireworks, the designated site will be closed.

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