How did you spend your New Year’s Eve? Did you go out partying? Did you host a gathering? Did you sit inside not bothering and ignoring it? If it was the last option, I’m afraid to say you probably failed. Whether it be intentionally or unintentionally, New Year’s Eve tends be a day that we all celebrate. Even those who don’t see the point in all the festivities tend to find themselves unconsciously wondering what the new year will bring. However, no matter how you decide to spend it, one celebration we all can’t escape is a firework display. The moment the clock strikes midnight, a cacophony of loud pops, shrieks and whistles can be heard either from your neighbours, the television, or your own backyard. Nobody is denying the magic and excitement that fireworks bring but should that mean we ignore the feelings of those who it doesn’t benefit?

The banning of fireworks has been a heated conversation for years now. Many think that it is a harmless way to usher in a new year and the grandeur of it all makes it a beautiful, unforgettable moment for kids and adults alike. In response to that, those who believe it should be banned argue that it is an unnecessary public disturbance, and a few minutes of enjoyment should not diminish all the problems it causes like the harming of animals, the toxins it releases into the air and overall, just the unwanted noise. The campaign for the banning of fireworks stirred up again after the death of a horse who was literally scared to death. Jade was a therapy horse for her owner, Liberty, and a firework that was set off near her field during Bonfire Night frightened her so much that she collapsed and was unable to get up after that. Even though it is not the norm for animals to die out of shock from fireworks, that doesn’t mean the other reactions like shaking and cowering in fear don’t pose as an issue for pet owners. A resident in Bromley is the owner of a 4-year-old beagle and she said that during the fireworks at midnight her dog was “inconsolable” “refusing to budge from behind the armchair” and she claimed it would just be easier to “take him away for next year”. It’s also important to note that domestic pets aren’t the only animals that suffer. When bodies of water absorb large amounts of heavy metals and toxins from fireworks, the pollution can harm aquatic life and they are already under a constant threat from dying because of humans.

Whether this debate will ever be settled is a question for the future, but it is important to not ignore the issues fireworks cause for the animals in our life. Personally, prohibiting them sounds like a strict measure but there definitely should be more regulations on who can buy them and where they can be set off.