Science comes to the rescue
fireworks season now seems to go on ad infinitum. First Halloween, Guy Fawkes Night and Divali,
from October to the new year, the nights are filled with bangs and booms. Many of our dogs face
weeks of terror by the indiscriminate and prolonged use of fireworks and some are injured -
even killed - by nasty exploding fireworks. If we can't ban them, at least we can help our dogs
to ride out the storm.
Dogs terrified by the sound of
fireworks are being offered help by a university research team.
The University of Lincoln says it has developed
a chemical which will reduce the stress experienced by dogs when they hear fireworks explode.
With bonfire night approaching, many dogs
'find this a miserable time of year, petrified by the unpredictable bangs,' says Daniel Mills,
principal lecturer in Behavioural Studies and Animal Welfare.
The treatment is delivered by a plug-in
device, similar to air-fresheners, which will send a soothing pheromone into the air.
'Many owners resort to seeking drugs for
their pets in order to help them cope, but this is a simpler solution,' said Mr. Mills.
This 'dog appeasing pheromone' is a
synthetic version of naturally-occurring chemicals which help to reassure newborn pups.
Researchers believe that anxiety can be triggered in animals by exposure to sudden and
unfamiliar experiences. And this pheromone can dampen these sensations by giving animals an
artificial sensation of familiarity, which acts against the tensions caused by the sudden loud
noises of fireworks.
'Unlike drugs, the diffuser does not sedate
the animal and make it sleepy,' says Mr. Mills.
The research, to be published in The
Veterinary Record, was based on a study of 30 dogs who had shown signs of fear when fireworks
were being set off. And it is claimed that exposure to the pheromone reduced the levels of
fear. But the effectiveness depended on the dogs receiving an early exposure to the pheromone,
which created a 'chemical barrier' to the onset of stress. (26/10/02)
BBC News (Monday, 21 October 2002
Stop the unnecessary terror that animals face
by the indiscriminate and prolonged use of fireworks.
How about it people? This is your opportunity to make a difference. It
doesn't take a minute to sign a petition, and some terrified creature will be sure to thank
you! Jackie Young
Guide Dogs for the
Blind Fireworks Petition
If you feel strongly about the indiscriminate use of fireworks throughout the Guide
Dogs for the Blind has had the courage to take on the debate with a petition on its WEB site
below. They are not advocating a total ban on fireworks but more control to limit fireworks to
specific public occasions such as Guy Fawkes Night on 5 November and New Years Day when those
with pets which react badly to the bangs, pops and whistles can plan ahead.
To read more about the petition go to -
http://www.guidedogs.co.uk/fireworks/ or go
straight to the petition to sign up at - http://www.guidedogs.co.uk/fireworks/reg-form.htm If
you know of anybody who feels as you do about this subject, or maybe those that haven't even
given it much thought, please forward or copy this e-mail to them*.
Click here for
Fear of Fireworks
A shocking new RSPCA survey of vets in England and Wales has found that last year 4,825 animals
were treated for firework-related injuries and/or prescribed sedatives because they were so
frightened by the loud bangs and flashes.
The RSPCA believes this is unacceptable and
is calling for the government to reform fireworks regulations and restrict public use of
Sign our petition and read our
animal-friendly firework code at: Source:
Source: RSPCA Online