07/27/17 The Act On Explosive Substances Has Come Into Force Today

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Animal Friends welcomes a small shift in legislation toward prohibiting the use of firecrackers

- News: A proposition of The Animal Protection Act introduces a prohibition on throwing firearms on animals

After a long-standing campaign by Animal Friends against holiday firecracker bombardment, the first positive results have come, and further progress is expected.

The Law on Explosive Substances and the Production and Trading of Weapons has come into effect, prohibiting the procurement and personal use of firecrackers and bandoleers of F3 category and pyrotechnic articles of F4, P1, P2, T1 and T2 category. The use of pyrotechnic articles of categories F2, F3, T1 and P1 is not allowed in enclosed spaces or in areas where larger numbers of people gather. It is also commendable that the legal age for the purchase and use of pyrotechnic articles of F2 and F3 categories has been set as 18 and above.

Although the new law brings about change for the better, Animal Friends continues to advocate for a complete ban on the procurement and use of pyrotechnic articles of F2 and F3 categories. These articles in particular endanger the safety of people and animals during the Christmas and New Year holidays. In addition to injuries such as losing a finger, hand or eye, damage or loss of hearing, and facial mutilation, using these pyrotechnic agents often causes material damage and environmental pollution.

"There are safety reasons why these pyrotechnic substances are forbidden throughout the year and so to allow their sale and use during the Christmas holiday time is unjustified. We are looking for a ban on F2 and F3 categories throughout the whole year because the New Year celebrations are no justification for legislative loopholes," said Luka Oman, president of Animal Friends.

Firecracker and fireworks explosions cause panicky fear and stress within cats and dogs, whose hearing is far more refined than that of humans. This causes a large number of pets to die from heart attacks, and many more to die under car wheels in an attempt to escape the explosions, every year. Furthermore, the noise is disruptive, and firecrackers can also injure birds and villages’ indigenous animals. Considering that animals are often direct victims of injury by pyrotechnic agents, it is important news that the Animal Protection Act Proposition, which is currently in the parliamentary procedure, introduces a ban on the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic agents on animals.

Since it is difficult to monitor the implementation of the legal provisions due to the frequent availability and misuse of pyrotechnic articles, in 2015, Animal Friends delivered a petition containing more than 15,000 signatures to the Ministry of Internal Affairs asking for prohibition of fireworks of F2 and F3 categories. The goal was to follow an example set by neighboring Italy. In 2011, more than 850 Italian cities and municipalities were forbidden from using firecrackers on New Year’s Eve, because their sound disturbs people and animals, especially in Turin. Since 2016, the city of Collecchio in Parma has permitted only the use of silent fireworks to prevent dog trauma during the summer fireworks shows.

The noise produced by pyrotechnic articles also affects families with young children, the elderly and victims of PTSD. Animal Friends commends the Ministry, but maintains that the new provisions are just the first steps towards protecting animals and people from firecracker injuries. Animal Friends continues to appeal so that only pyrotechnic articles of F1 category may be allowed, which present a very low risk and produce a negligible noise level. This way, the holidays will no longer seem like a state of war (with serious consequences to the health and safety of citizens and animals), but as an opportunity for a civilized celebration.

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