“These new proposals to restrict the sale and use of fireworks will be welcomed by many people including myself”, said Councillor Kenny MacLaren.
Scottish Ministers are proposing a major reduction in the quantity of fireworks that can be sold to members of the general public, with the limit for purchase for people without an explosives licence being cut from 50kg to 5kg. It is hoped the changes can come into force at the end of June this year, well ahead of the main fireworks season in November.
Gilly Mendes Ferreira, of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA), welcomed the new regulations, saying they would be a “positive step, not only for animal welfare, but for those who care for or work with animals”.
She added: “Tightening the times that fireworks can be used will allow owners to prepare and put safeguarding measures in place to protect their animals against the negative effects of fireworks.”
Ash Denham MSP, Community Safety Minister, said: “The proposed changes to legislation I have put before Parliament mark an important milestone in our journey towards a significant shift in our relationship with fireworks.”
More than 16,400 people responded to a Scottish Government consultation on the issue in 2019, with the minister adding the results of this showed “strong public support for changing how fireworks are sold and used in Scotland”.
Councillor Kenny MacLaren added: “Recently Renfrewshire Councillors backed a proposal seeking a review of existing legislation surround the sale and use of fireworks, so I welcome this move by the Scottish Government.
“It’s not just animals and their owners who are affected by fireworks, more and more complaints have indicated the impact these explosions have on vulnerable people, especially those with PTSD who have served in the armed forces.
“The cancellation of all official fireworks events due to Covid has raised concerns that the public had bought more fireworks than usual, and this could have resulted in more injuries. It really is time for tighter restrictions for the sake of public safety.”
The new regulations would mean the public could only set off fireworks between 6pm and 11pm, with the exception of November 5, when they could be used between 6pm and midnight, and New Year’s Eve, the night of Chinese New Year, and the night of Diwali, when they could be used between 6pm and 1am. It is also planned to limit the time of day when people can buy fireworks to between 7am and 6pm.