Had a chuckle recently at a post on social media last week which read: “FFS, I wish those kids would stop setting off fireworks a week early… the dog’s hiding underneath the Christmas tree.”
It’s obviously a dig at those who gild the lily when it comes to the festive season, but at least the presence of a Christmas tree in someone’s living room in what’s widely considered a ‘reasonable’ amount of time before December 25 isn’t downright dangerous.
I’m not a killjoy by any means, and I don’t mind organised bonfire and firework displays, but I’ve never really got the point of them. Paying any sort of money for something that goes up in smoke in mere seconds, regardless of how spectacular it is, seems bizarre to me.
But every year families and individuals go along to displays, with more than a dozen organised events taking place across the region this year, and they are almost always great community gatherings.
That’s all well and good, but in my opinion it’s the wider general sale of fireworks – and often their subsequent misuse – which needs to be the subject of serious restrictions, if not a total ban.
The Scottish Government announced a few days ago that a new review group will be set up to consider changes to the times at which fireworks can be let off, and look at options around the potential introduction of ‘no fireworks zones’.
That’s to be welcomed, but it goes nowhere near far enough.
This issue has been on the go since I was a youngster and well beyond that, and the fact animals suffer stress and anxiety should be reason enough to see their use restricted to organised, community events as a mere starting point.
The SSPCA receives hundreds of calls each year to reports of animals being injured trying to escape the noise of fireworks, such as dogs running on to roads and being hit by traffic, swans flying into electricity pylons and horses being badly hurt after running through barbed wire fences.
I think many pet owners would be able to cope if they knew if and when fireworks would be set off in their local area, but at the present time that’s not the case.
Even then, I don’t see why they should be inconvenienced by local neds who terrorise communities and launch attacks on frontline emergency service staff.
The worst thing is, you can’t even say it’s going to happen on “this day” or “that day”.
Bonfire Night-associated activities can start in early October and run right through until folk run out of explosives.
Sainsbury’s deserves a gold star for refusing to stock them this year, but it matters not if you can nip to another shop along the road and bolster your arsenal.
The debate is had every year, but wouldn’t it be good, after a year dominated by seemingly endless debates on Brexit at Westminster, if something can finally be done come 2020.