Fireworks at home will be a popular choice for households this year due to COVID-19 and this is a plea for you to consider others when planning your display – especially if other than on Nov 5th.

The noises from loud fireworks are known to terrorise pet dogs and cats as as well as horses, farm animals and wildlife. Around half of all dogs are thought to be affected, and three quarters of all horses. Terrorised animals may try to ‘escape’ and can seriously injure themselves or others. Our non-human companions have much more sensitive hearing than our own and apart from acute distress can suffer permanent hearing loss. Birds, including ducks and chickens, can be killed outright by the shock of loud explosions.

Pet and farm animal owners can take steps to mitigate the damage if they know when a display is to occur, so please give those around you plenty of warning, and if possible avoid the most extravagant explosions.

Here is an eloquent plea from Stephanie – one of our local farmers:

“We are in Nupend and breed pedigree dairy cows. We have calves, young cows (heifers) and the two bulls, Destroyer and Scooby. The majority of our animals are born on the farm and we calve all year round. Our farm backs onto the Great Oldbury estate just over the hedge at Stagholt where we have pregnant heifers grazing. We have previously, due to nearby fireworks, lost calves to miscarriage and broken legs (whilst trying to jump out of their pens). Also our dog bolted and was run over. I appreciate some of you are lucky enough to own pets that seem to suffer no adverse affects from fireworks, but the majority of us are not so lucky.

In the past year or so I have acquired a young horse (Vinnie) and two pet lawnmowers (aka the sheep Buggley and Anita Skeeta). And not forgetting Jedi Knight (Jed) the farm dog/pet – some of you will have bumped into us whilst out walking the footpaths on the farm.

My main worry is that I need to plan for the possible sedation of young Vinnie as fireworks aren’t necessarily just let off on November the 5th. Oral sedation for a horse can take up to 40 minutes to kick in and costs around £10 a time (more than I earn in an hour). I don’t really want to sedate him every night, keeping him locked in his stable with the lights on, radio playing and me on standby for a week or more either side of Guy Fawkes night, as he usually lives outside (his choice), but then again I don’t want him panicking and galloping through fences seriously injuring himself.

All I am asking is please enjoy your fireworks BUT be mindful of where we all live for the sake of the animals in the surrounding homes, farms and countryside. Kindly let myself and others know if you are planning on letting off fireworks outside of 5th November so we can take evasive action – please call, drop a little note through the door, and/or post on Facebook groups ‘Love Eastington’ and ‘Great Oldbury, Stonehouse Community’

Life for us has changed immensely in the village since the development of Great Oldbury and I have enjoyed chatting to people I meet when on the farm or out riding Vinnie on the Bridleway, so do stop and say hello!