Share Your Views on the Use of Fireworks

Rhoda GrantLocal MSP Rhoda Grant, Labour, has followed up her campaign leaflet about fireworks and their effect on pets by asking a question in the Scottish Parliament.

“To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to make a submission to the UK Government regarding the consultation on the restriction of the sale of fireworks, and what information it has regarding the timeline of the consultation.”

In reply, Ash Denham, the Minister for Community Safety in the Scottish Government said:

“In September I wrote to the UK Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility to request an update on any actions being taken on Fireworks at Westminster. I was advised that while the Office for Product Safety and Standards are reviewing the guidance material available to consumers on the safe and responsible use of fireworks, no changes to legislation at a UK level are being considered at this time.

“I have recently confirmed that the Scottish Government will undertake a consultation on the use and regulations of fireworks in Scotland. This consultation will take place early next year. I will write again to the UK Government to inform them of the details of the consultation in due course”

Rhoda Grant said:

” Every year this issue comes to the fore during the dark winter months and every year we hear about the distress and even death caused to some animals as a result of the use of fireworks by the general public.

“This year I was supported by the SSPCA and I produced an educational leaflet which was distributed through Vet Practices and Pet shops as well as the SSPCA themselves, highlighting the issues.”


“No one is wanting to spoil anyone’s fun. What I want to encourage is for the general public to attend community public fireworks events and if setting them off near their own homes to first stop and think about the consequences.

“For example, are their elderly or vulnerable neighbours that you should advise, to prevent scaring them with the loud bangs. Is there pets next door and if so should you tell the neighbours that you are going to set off fireworks in order that they can be prepared to comfort their pets if needs be.

Rhoda Grant encouraged people to take part in the future Scottish Government consultation.

“If there is a Government consultation on this issue early next year, then I would urge anyone with a vested interest to make their views known. I will certainly highlight such a consultation once I become aware of it.”

The Law on Fireworks

Currently the law on fireworks means that the sale is only permitted for 18+.

You can only buy fireworks (including sparklers) from registered sellers for private use on these dates:

  • 15 October to 10 November
  • 26 to 31 December
  • 3 days before Diwali and Chinese New Year

At other times you can only buy fireworks from licensed shops.

It is against the law for anyone to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am, except on certain occasions. The exceptions are: Bonfire Night when the cut off is midnight and New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut off is 1am

It is not permitted to set off or throw fireworks in the street – this includes sparklers.

There may also be local regulations.

fireworksYou can be fined up to £5,000 and imprisoned for up to 6 months for selling or using fireworks illegally. You could also get an on-the-spot fine of £90.

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5 replies »

  1. I said it before…and I’ll say it again……

    It’s also worth considering the fact, and it is a fact, that war veterans can be nervous of loud bangs, and bonfire night can be a hard time for them, too. Mike’s Dad has passed from this life now, but those very loud, explosive fireworks which are becoming more and more fashionable, made him jump. He was a man of courage, not just in his army career. He’d been through a lot, and didn’t deserve to have that carry on into civilian life.
    Please, do, think about the animals, and the people too.
    Organized, collective firework displays look more spectacular, and also can be more sociable.
    They still can be frightening – but at least folk know where they are happening, and can take precautionary measures for themselves, and their animals.

    And what do the wild animals, and birds, make of it all?

    • Bernie, once again how true, when I was a lad (few years ago now) we had a neighbour a WW1 veteran who used to noticeably shudder during fireworks going off. As for animals we have a new German Shepherd pup, now 4 months, and on firework night he didn’t bat an eyelid in fact I think he even enjoyed them. On wild animals you raise an interesting point and without being flippant it’s grouse who are probably most affected.

  2. It is an odd business. Until he was three years old, Ben-The-Dog was terrified when fireworks went off. He was only happy, sitting on my knee. Then, for no apparent reason, he took to sitting on the back of an armchair, in the window, with his head sticking through the curtains, watching them! From then on, he didn’t care tuppence about them. I say there’s ‘nowt so queer as folk, but that can apply to animals, too.
    We never figured out what caused the change in him – if only we could, and give whatever it was, to all the animals who are still terrified.

    You have a 4 month old German Shepherd pup…………………..I am guilty of envy.

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