Animal welfare is an issue that many of us care deeply about. I’m proud it was a Labour government that introduced the hunting ban and that we’ve consistently presented strong policies to strengthen animal welfare.
Locally, we gained support for motions to ban the sale of fur on council-owned properties and to ban sky litter, such as glowing lanterns and helium balloons, from passing over council-owned land where animals could be harmed.
Recently, lots of you have written to me about the distress caused to animals by fireworks.
I love the excitement of a winter firework display and usually join one of the organised events in the city.
Along with the whizzes and sparkles, I love seeing the smiles on people’s faces as they come together to share the experience.
I certainly don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun but I do echo the concern of other animal lovers about the distress caused to animals.
For many pet owners the effects can impact on everyday life. This can include weeks where exercising their dogs is a problem because they become afraid to leave the house.
It can also mean evenings spent calming pets who are shaking and crying and coaxing them out from under the furniture.
Wildlife also suffer from distress of the noise and the debris left behind.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) says there is not enough legislation to prevent or sufficiently reduce the risk of fireworks causing death, injury or distress to animals and is calling on councils to act because they believe the law is failing.
It is important to balance people’s need to celebrate important events with animal welfare measures – and any measures taken by the council will be done in consultation with everyone affected.
The council’s animal welfare officers already promote the excellent guidance issued by the RSPCA to pet owners about looking after their pets during firework events.
I am proud that Labour councillors took a motion to Brighton and Hove City Council before Christmas.
Thank you to everyone who got in touch to highlight this important issue – you may have helped change council policy.
Councillor Nancy Platts is the leader of the Labour opposition on Brighton and Hove City Council.
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