First and foremost, please be assured that I get the seriousness of this issue and have raised it in Parliament in relation to the death of a horse due to fireworks locally.
However, I am afraid I must tell you that the Government does not plan to restrict when fireworks can be used, or make them silent, or reduce their maximum noise level to 90 decibels. Ministers support the considerate use of fireworks, as well as any action taken to reduce the risks and disturbances to individuals, animals and property.
To reduce disturbance to both animals and people, there is a noise level limit of 120 decibels on fireworks for home use. The Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes it an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to animals through the misuse of fireworks. They should not be set off near livestock or close to buildings that house livestock, or near to horses in fields. Anyone planning a firework display in rural areas should warn neighbouring farmers.
Further, I understand that retailers are restricted to selling consumer fireworks during a limited period around specific seasonal celebrations, and retailers may only supply fireworks outside these periods if they obtain a licence from their local licensing authority. Fireworks used for professionally organised displays are only available for sale to people who have undertaken an accredited course of training in pyrotechnics. Enforcement powers exist for local authorities to take action when fireworks are unsafe, sold illegally or misused. Local authorities and the police also have powers to tackle anti-social behaviour caused by the misuse of fireworks.
Finally, the Government published a statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs, which advises dog owners to avoid exercising with dogs during times when fireworks could be let off. I understand that the Government has worked with animal welfare groups in previous fireworks seasons to promote safe and considerate use.