11/24/16 Ban on the Use of Pyrotechnic Devices Category F2 and F3

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Ministry of Internal Affairs
Minister Vlaho Orepic
Savska 39
10000 Zagreb

Novemeber 24, 2016

Subject: Ban on the use of pyrotechnic devices category F2 and F3

Dear Minister Orepic,

Before the upcoming holiday season and with it connected pyrotechnics devices madness, Animal Friends welcomes Article 62, paragraph 6 of the Draft Law on the Explosive Substances and the production and trade of weapons, which prohibits the sale and use of firecrackers and cartridge belts F3 category and from categories of pyrotechnic devices F4, P1, P2, T1 and T2 to citizens for personal use. However, we ask you to consider the modification of stated article which would be complete ban on the sale and use of pyrotechnic devices including all categories of F3 and banned sale and use of pyrotechnic devices category F2 to citizens, exceptions would be with the approval of the Ministry.

Praiseworthy is the Article 62, paragraphs 3 and 4 of the draft Law which states age requirements, over 18, not only to buy but also the usage of pyrotechnic devices category F2 and F3. However, in practice, due to the easy availability and frequent misuse of pyrotechnic devices it is difficult to monitor the implementation of these legal provisions. Since Article 30, paragraph 5 of the existing Law on Explosive Substances and Article 62, paragraph 4 of the draft Law is justified and with the cause defend the use of these pyrotechnic category most of the year, from January 2 to December 26, we believe that it’s unfounded, irresponsible and unconscionable to allow this activity in a short period of New Year celebration.

Pyrotechnic category F2 as well as F3 category may endanger the safety of children and adults who operate them by hands or find themselves very close to it. As evidenced there are numerous cases of injuries caused by firework devices during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Those pyrotechnic devices can also cause property damage and create unnecessary waste and pollute the environment.

The noise produced by fireworks which already disturbs bigger part of the public, especially families with young children, the elderly and victims of PTSD, highly disturbs animals whose hearing is much more subtle than human. Shooting of firecrackers and fireworks causes stress and panic to animals and can result in the death of heart attack or be a result of an escape attempt. The noise disturbs wild city animals such as birds and farm animals in the countryside. Animals are often direct victims of accidental or premeditated fireworks accidents.

Usage of explosives is not an acceptable nor a civilized way of celebration which should be reflected in legal provisions. We remind that with the complete prohibition of the use of dangerous pyrotechnic devices categories F2 and F3, the citizens wouldn’t be deprived of public fireworks performed by professionals during holidays and special occasions and safer pyrotechnic category F1, which represent a very low risk and negligible noise level.

Animal Friends association with a request for a ban on pyrotechnic devices of categories F2 and F3 (before the II and III level) addressed the former Minister in 2012 and 2014. At the request of concerned and outraged citizens in 2014 started a petition to ban pyrotechnics of II and III level which got signed by more than 15,000 citizens, has been presented to the Ministry of Internal Affairs with the presentation of citizen’s demands in 2015.

Animal Friends propose that with amendment of Article 62 of the Draft Law on the Explosive Substances and production and arms, fully ban the sale and use of pyrotechnic devices categories F2 and F3 except to the individuals with permission of the Ministry at all time. The proposed amendments of the draft Law would contribute to security of people and animals, to reduce noise and maintain public order.

We are convinced that safety and peacefulness of all residents in Croatia is in the first place for you as for us and we hope that you will consider our request and we would love to go through details at a short meeting. We are available for any questions and further information and we look forward to your response and future collaboration.

Best regards,

Luka Oman

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