Locals urged to be mindful of pets during Diwali celebrations

2018-11-07 15:59
Residents urged to adhere to fireworks by-laws.

Residents urged to adhere to fireworks by-laws. (File)

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With Diwali at the peak of its festivities, various animal organisations and the SPCA have urged people to be mindful of their pets, and others’ pets, during the lighting of firecrackers.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Ntobeko Ngcobo said although the by-laws regulating the control and discharge of fireworks have been in place since 2013, the municipality is in the process of amending them.

Until the amendments are promulgated, the regular by-laws still apply — fireworks may not be set off in any public place, and according to the Explosives Act, the period in which the lighting of fireworks is allowed is from 7 pm to 10 pm.

Children under 16 may not buy or set off fireworks unless accompanied by an adult and fireworks may not be sold by street vendors or at any informal open-air facilities.

The by-laws also state that no fireworks should be set off, detonated or exploded within 200 metres of any hospital, clinic, petrol station, old-age home or nursing home, or animal welfare organisation or institution.

The by-laws say that using fireworks to frighten animals is against the law.

uMngeni SPCA manager Dudu Abraham said throughout the years, Howick residents seemed to be taking more responsibility when it came to their pets during Diwali. “More and more residents have been coming in every year to buy tranquillisers for their pets.

“The best thing to do for a terrified dog is to remove your cars from your garage, put some toys and the dog’s bed inside the garage. Then you give them their tranquilliser and leave the radio on for them inside the garage.”

She said the SPCA would be on standby during the festivities.

Pietermaritzburg SPCA’s Ronnie Yeoman said they would have three SPCA staff patrolling the roads during Diwali and three staff at the offices.

Mountain Rise police spokesperson Captain Gay Ebrahim said on Tuesday that police will intensify patrols and visits to dealers of fireworks to ensure compliance of the act. “Members of the explosives unit will be visiting dealerships for compliance of the act.

“They will attend to matters where injury and damage may be caused due to the use of fireworks. Members of the public are encouraged to be safe, kind to animals and extremely cautious with the use of fireworks that may cause a disturbance. Police will respond to matters of this nature,” said Ebrahim.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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