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The Devastating Effects of Fireworks on
Pets and Wildlife

Fireworks have become a fixture of many celebrations around the world, from weddings to national holidays. But there are many among us, including the furry, feathered and finned, who feel fear with every thundering boom.

Animal caretakers, wildlife rehabilitators and fire services see first-hand the damaging — and sometimes fatal — effects whenever and wherever fireworks are deployed.

Cats and dogs both experience sounds at far greater intensity than humans. Fireworks appear for them as discordant noise without warning.

Studies suggest up to 50 percent of dogs are afraid of fireworks. Frightened animals awakened from sleep or startled from a state of relaxation will hide, pace, shake, cry or flee, unable to process what is going on or find a safe haven.

Horses’ innate fear responses can take over when they hear fireworks. 

This has led to the tragic death of horses in the past. So far this year, Murphy and Tallulah were two horse victims of fireworks, the latter so afraid she ran through a wooden fence.

It’s not only animals who are at risk either. Spooking horses can accidentally hurt people trying to handle and comfort them. Bystanders can also be injured when horses bolt out of fear.

The dangers are serious for wild animals like birds, squirrels, frogs and fish too. During fireworks explosions, nearby resting birds will flee in fear en masse from trees and ponds, and fly off into the night sky.

Some birds have flown so far out to seathey would not physically have been able to return to land alive. Birds can crash into buildings, get lost and disoriented and literally fall, by the thousands, onto communities.

Because fireworks are launched at night, the full effects on wild animals are challenging to document. Researchers expect that millions of birds are affected around the world and that the results linger after the smoke has disappeared.

In spring and early summer, when animals like birds and squirrels are nesting or in the early stages of rearing their offspring, the risks are even greater. Babies die of dehydration or starvation when terrified or disoriented animal parents cannot find their way back to their nests and burrows. These painful deaths are particularly tragic because they are completely avoidable.

The negative impacts of fireworks extend beyond animals — they can also trigger refugees and veterans.

For all of the above reasons, we hope that you understand why we don’t allow Fireworks to be set off at Broadoaks Country House. We do have a lovely array of firework Fountains that are quiet and look lovely for photographs at night along with sparklers. 

Please speak to your wedding coordinator for more details.