New Year’s Eve fireworks were once again being accused this year of terrifying animals and causing injuries, with more than 40 organizations in Norway calling for a national ban on private fireworks.
Among them is an animal protection society in Moss, Dyrebeskyttelse. Its leader, Ole Johnny Martinsen, told newspaper Demokraten that fireworks frighten dogs, cats and other pets, have been known to have spooked horses and set off lots of unrest within barns. Some pet owners try to train their animals to get used to the sparks and lights and booms, but that has to begin long before New Year’s Eve in order to have any effect.
Martinsen stresses that birds are also greatly disturbed by fireworks and can cost the lives of many. “If people would take animals and birds into consideration, they wouldn’t set off fireworks,” he said. He’s urging alternatives like officially organized laser or lightshows.
Others can’t understand why Christmas is rung in with bells and music, while the New Year is celebrated with explosions. Fewer fireworks were expected this year, meanwhile, because some cities have cancelled public displays in order to keep crowds from gathering during the pandemic. Shipments of fireworks to Norway have also been delayed because of international transport disruption, and aren’t due to arrive until well into January.