Horse afraid of fireworks dies

Samantha Parsons with her horse Murphy

Samantha Parsons said the fireworks were “shaking” the interior of her home.

One woman said her horse, startled by “extreme” fireworks, had to be grounded during the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Samantha Parsons of Eaton Bray in Bedfordshire said the horse Murphy was too upset to stand up.

He said that fireworks should not be detonated near farm animals and that animals should be better protected.

The government said “responsible use” of fireworks was “important”.

horse murphy

Murphy lived outside in a field in Eaton Bray, Bedfordshire.

‘Panic in your eyes’

Ms Parsons said she found her 25-year-old horse “totally distressed” on the morning of January 1.

“We spent four hours getting him on his feet but with the vet’s care it was decided he wouldn’t be up so we put him to sleep,” she said.

“It was scary to see him with so much panic in his eyes.

“If those fireworks hadn’t been blown so close, they would still be here today.

“We have cattle and sheep with us, so we need to be protected under this law, which is already in effect.

“You weren’t supposed to set off fireworks where the animals were, so this was completely avoidable.”

He said a large number of private fireworks were set off around his house after midnight and that “the volume of these was absolutely unrealistic”.

“They were crazy, they were extreme,” he said.

Murphy is a horse, live next to him

Ms. Parsons said Murphy couldn’t get up because she was afraid of the fireworks.

Fireworks regulations state that “it is an offense to cause unnecessary suffering to a captive or pet animal”, including a fine of up to £20,000 or six months in prison.

Rules should be enforced by municipalities, animal health officials and the police.

Dr Mark Kennedy, equine welfare expert from the RSPCA, said: “Unfortunately, the loud noises, explosions and sizzles of fireworks combined with bright flashes of light cause a lot of fear and distress to many pets, horses, livestock and wildlife. “

He said horses and other livestock are easily startled and can run in “blind panic”.

“Owners may find their horses or other animals in a condition that is collapsed, injured, or entangled in fencing and needs immediate medical attention,” he said.

“We are aware of potential horse deaths due to fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

“The amount of time the animals are exposed to it seems to be growing – fireworks can be released for many weeks from early November until New Year’s and beyond.

“Therefore, we encourage positive change to limit not only the sale but also the use of fireworks to limited celebration dates to reduce the damage done by fireworks.”

‘Badly wrong’

Andrew Selous, Conservative MP for South West Bedfordshire, said: “I don’t think any fireworks display is worth causing the death of someone else’s much loved family pet.

“I’m going to go to the government and raise the death toll with them and say that I don’t think the current law is working properly and is being implemented.

“As a country, we need to rethink how we can better protect beautiful horses like Murphy.

“I don’t want to ban fireworks, I don’t want to be a mess. If they’re killing and injuring animals, something is going terribly wrong.”

A government spokesman said: “We know that people want to enjoy fireworks at certain times of the year, but it is important that they are used responsibly and thoughtfully to protect both people and animals.

“This is why there are strict regulations to control the sale and use of fireworks, including laws that protect animals from harm.”

A spokesperson for Central Bedfordshire Council said it could investigate cases where “fireworks were set off near farm animals” under the Animal Welfare Act.

He said everyone should present sufficient evidence and an explanation from the vets involved.

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