01/31/18 Appeal to the Ministry of the Interior - Ban firecrackers outright or allow cities to decree such a ban!

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Animal Friends wrote to the Ministry of the Interior seeking an urgent amendment of the Law

- Petition for banning firecrackers, initiated by veterinarians from Virovitica, is being signed all over the country

Citizens are fed up with firecracker terror! The Animal Friends association sent a letter to the Ministry of the Interior on behalf of a huge number of individuals, animal protection associations, veterinarians, and other citizens' groups who contact the Ministry yearly seeking a ban on the use of loud pyrotechnic items throughout the whole year.

In this letter, Animal Friends appeals to the Ministry of the Interior for an urgent amendment to the Law of the explosive agents that will completely ban the use of pyrotechnic items F2 and F3 throughout the entire calendar year, including the period from December 27th to January 1st. If the Ministry refuses to issue such a ban, Animal Friends deems the law must be amended to give cities and municipalities the power to ban firecrackers on their own territory (given the cities' established interest in doing so).

At the beginning of January 2018, veterinarians from Virovitica started a petition to ban the use of pyrotechnic items of all categories thoroughout the entire year in order to protect wild animals, pets, and companion animals from injures and death, and to protect people from harm as well. Animal Friends has welcomed this initiative and helped spread it to other cities that wish to ban the use of loud pyrotechnic items on their territory.

Like every year, the holiday transition from 2017 to 2018 was marked by cases of psychological shock and animal suffering because of the noise caused by pyrotechnic items. Scared by firecrackers and trying to avoid unbearably loud explosions during the holiday season, many cats and dogs ran from their homes in panic. Animal Friends was contacted by citizens who started the New Year in grief, as they dealt with the deaths of their four-legged family members who suffered heart attacks caused by firecrackers. Other companion animals, terrified by these noises, hid and shivered under tables and beds, refusing to eat or "do their job" outside. Their guardians started 2018 locked up in the bathroom with their animals, with the curtains and blinds down. Many animals had to be sedated in order to survive the holidays at all.

The latest positive example of countries banning firecrackers was in Poland, where many cities greeted 2018 without loud fireworks, avoiding New Year's Eve nightmares for both peoples' and animals' sakes. Beloved holiday destinations in the Tatra mountains deliberately gave up fireworks and helped tourists celebrate in a more quiet fashion, as "frightened chamois could die in panic escape and other animals, such as bears, are being awakened from winter hibernation, which can be a fatal danger for them“. In many cities all over Poland (Bjalistok, Vroclav, Slupsk, Sosnovjeck, Radlin, Lublin), loud fireworks have been replaced by laser lights, silent fireworks, and confetti, all for the sake of animal welfare.

Modern technology offers attractive solutions that enrich celebrations without harming humans or animals. A large majority of citizens expects the Ministry of the Interior to help all of Croatia welcome 2019 without the explosions of pyrotechnics, as described in the amendment of the Law of explosive agents, or to at least to allow cities and municipalities to regulate the use of firecrackers on their own territory.

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