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Warning of fireworks distressing New Forest livestock

Warning of fireworks distressing New Forest livestock


Fireworks display organisers and residents in the New Forest are being asked to be aware of ponies and other animals to avoid causing them injuries and distress.

The livestock in the National Park can be easily frightened by loud bangs and bright lights on Bonfire Night. It can cause them to injure themselves by running into fencing, or they can run across roads and be hit by passing traffic.

Tony Hockley, chairman of the Commoners Defence Association, said: ‘This is the most worrying time of year for the families that graze their animals on the New Forest. The New Forest we all love and value depends on this vocational practice. Everyone can do their small part to support it.

‘Noisy fireworks are always dangerous near livestock, so it is far better to enjoy an organised public display than to set them off at random times with unknown impacts on the animals in the dark. We’d also stress that flying lanterns can travel great distances, and are not safe to use. They pose a serious risk of fire to homes and can cause great harm if swallowed by animals.’

Suzanne Kempe, Chairman of the New Forest Equine Forum, said: ‘We want everyone to enjoy the Bonfire Night celebrations. However, we would ask that anyone thinking about organising a local firework display speak to their neighbouring landowners first so that those responsible for grazing animals can take necessary precautions to safeguard their stock. Horses are easily spooked by a sudden burst of fireworks, which can cause them a great deal of distress.’

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