Animal welfare charities warn of dangers to wildlife ahead of bonfire night

As November 5 nears, animal welfare charities and organisations have expressed deep concern about the potential dangers posed to wildlife and domestic pets.

With bonfire night being widely celebrated around the country, participants have been asked to take special care when hosting or attending firework events. This involves taking into consideration the environment around them and the species who inhabit it, such as hedgehogs and foxes.

Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF), a wildlife aid rescue in Surrey, said local wildlife was vulnerable due to heightened senses and wild instincts.

WAF deputy CEO Louisa Cowell said: “They may abandon young, flee their territory, get trapped in fencing or run into roads.

“This year we also have the added problem of disused bonfires from last year, which will have become perfect habitats for a range of wildlife. If these are now set alight, the result will be catastrophic for anything sheltering in them. We don’t want to be killjoys, particularly at this time when people need some fun in their lives, but we are asking people to consider our wildlife.”

Firework season is widely known to be traumatising for domestic pets, particularly dogs. The RSPCA has offered advice to pet owners about what they can do to safeguard their animals.

RSPCA campaigns manager Carrie Stones said: “With unplanned or more spontaneous events in the pipeline this year owners with nervous animals may be worried about the coming weeks.

“There is information on the RSPCA website on how to prepare your pets in advance such as bringing pets inside and providing extra bedding to make a safe haven. We would also advise you to consult your vet if you feel your pet is particularly anxious.”

They have also called for more control over firework events.

To avoid harm coming to frightened wildlife or escaped pets, make sure to take them to a safe place or find someone who can. People are also advised to check old bonfires and the surrounding area before they are lit to ensure there are no animals hiding out.

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