Cats Protection Calls for Tighter Controls Over Fireworks to Protect Cats in Scotland

The UK’s main cat charity Cats Protection has backed plans to limit the usage of fireworks throughout Scotland.

The proposals – underneath the Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Bill – would imply members of the general public buying or utilizing fireworks would wish a license, and public shows can be restricted to sure days of the yr, reminiscent of Bonfire Night, Hogmanay, Diwali and Chinese New Year.

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Cats Protection’s Advocacy & Government Relations Officer for Scotland Alice Palombo stated the proposals would assist cut back stress for pet cats, give house owners the prospect to make sure their pets are indoors throughout shows, and assist shield stray and feral cats which can haven’t any indoor refuge from fireworks.

She stated: “Fireworks are extremely worrying for cats and different animals, particularly if their proprietor has not had the prospect to make sure that their cat is indoors and secure. They are additionally worrying to cats that don’t stay indoors reminiscent of stray and feral cats.

“Cats affiliate sudden loud noises and flashes of sunshine with imminent menace, and their pure intuition is to flee. However, as cats wrestle to find the supply of noise, this usually signifies that they’ll bolt in an unfavourable path which can not present safety. In busy cities, cats are at risk of working into site visitors, or turning into misplaced in an unknown territory.

“We would additionally prefer to see a discount within the most noise degree of fireworks. Cats have delicate listening to, having one of many widest ranges of listening to in mammals. The present most permitted firework noise degree of 120 decibels could cause harm to cats’ listening to, even when there may be solely temporary publicity.”

Cats Protection, the UK’s largest feline welfare charity, has a Scottish community of twenty-two volunteer-run branches, 4 adoption centres, and 9 charity retailers which additionally supply recommendation on cat care.

The charity’s Cats and their Stats (CATS) Scotland Report 2021 discovered 53% of cat house owners in Scotland reported that their cat confirmed indicators of stress due to fireworks.

As properly as a licensing system, Cats Protection helps the introduction of Firework Control Zones, the place the usage of fireworks can be quickly prohibited, however the charity says these zones must ban fireworks all yr spherical to be efficient. Cats Protection says Firework Control Zones ought to embody areas close to animal rehoming centres, or in different areas the place there are identified to be a excessive variety of animals, reminiscent of an outside feral cat colony.

Cats Protection’s Glasgow Adoption Centre Manager Kim MacKrell stated: “Many cats that come into our care discover fireworks very worrying. Designating areas near animal shelters and rehoming centres as Firework Control Zones will shield the well being of cats and different animals and doubtlessly cut back their stress. It is necessary that Firework Control Zones function all year long to guard cats from the worry and stress attributable to the sudden loud noises and flashes of sunshine from fireworks.”

Cats Protection recommends cats are stored indoors with the TV or radio on and with the curtains drawn in a single day whereas fireworks are getting used, nonetheless, they’re nonetheless prone to affected by stress as a result of sounds. If cats expertise persistent stress this usually has a destructive impact over time on their bodily well being, reminiscent of cystitis, or results in behavioural issues reminiscent of home soiling, redirected aggression to house owners and damaging behaviour across the family.

More recommendation about what cat house owners can do to maintain cats secure and relaxed whereas fireworks may be discovered at www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice/home-and-environment/fireworks

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