Friday, 14 December 2018

Campaigner spreads quiet fireworks message on TV

THE woman who inspired the Henley Standard’s Ban the Bangs campaign appeared on live television to promote the initiative.

Jane Foddy, from Wargrave, spoke about our effort to promote quiet fireworks on ITV’s This Morning programme on Friday.

The PR consultant told presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford how she began to realise the effects of fireworks on dogs after she and her husband John got their three-year-old Irish soft-coated wheaten terrier Teddy.

She said: “In our area, when November 5 approaches, we get a lot of firework activity. It’s not just organised displays, it goes on for about four weeks.

“You can manage it if you know when the display is going to happen but dogs have such good hearing. The (Henley Standard) published a letter from me last year when I was talking about the nuisance to animals. Then I spoke to the editor about it and said maybe we should launch a campaign timed to coincide with the November 5 period.

“A lot of people contacted me as a result of my letter and started talking to me not only about animals but people as well. We’ve had fantastic support.”

Fellow dog owner Michelle Horne told the programme that her dog Rigby was not badly affected by fireworks and she didn’t want to see loud fireworks banned.

She said: “I’ve got every sympathy for owners whose pets are struggling at this time of year. It’s not nice to see a dog in distress.

“But there are two different issues. Firstly, fireworks displays that are organised and, secondly, the fireworks going off in people’s gardens.”

Holmes and Langsford said their dog Maggie was scared of fireworks.

Vet Scott Miller said: “There is probably a happy compromise between looking after not only animals but people with post-traumatic stress disorder and kids with special needs and making sure we have a little bit of fun.”

He said he would support a change in the law to prevent the public sale of fireworks like in his native Australia. Mr Miller said: “If there were just controlled displays of loud ones you could work out the best places in the area to hold those displays.”

Langsford said: “I’ve always been amazed that you can go and buy fireworks and let them off in your garden. They are so dangerous.”

After the show, Mrs Foddy said: “It was gratifying to be asked to appear on This Morning as it proves this is a major issue that people are very exercised about.

“Ruth and Eamon commented that their own dog is terrified of fireworks and that they get firework noise not just around November 5 but a lot during the summer too as they are near a wedding venue.

“It was clear, though, that we have a long way to go in getting our message of quiet fireworks to a wider audience.

• In a This Morning online poll asking viewers if they thought loud fireworks should be banned, 56 per cent said yes.

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