New controls over fireworks will be announced by the Scottish Government tomorrow, after a public consultation found that the majority of Scots wanted to see their sale and use restricted,
Despite the regulations around fireworks being a reserved matter, Scottish ministers are preparing to announce new limits on where and when fireworks can be set off, with further controls on their use in residential gardens.
Community Safety Minister Ash Denham, will make a statement in Holyrood tomorrow outlining the government's plans to promote the safe and appropriate use of fireworks.
Earlier this year she pledged to act after a government consultation, which received more than 16,000 responses, found that 94 per cent wanted to see tighter controls on the sale of fireworks, with 93 per cent demanding more be done to ensure animals are not caused unnecessary suffering as a result of fireworks misuse.
The consultation also found that 87 per cent would support an outright ban on the sale of fireworks with concerns over their impact on those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and autism highlighted. A YouGov poll, carried out for the Scottish Government, found 71 per cent of adults supported tighter controls on the sale of fireworks to the public - and more than half backed a ban.
The consultation was launched after concerns were raised when emegency service crews came under attack on bonfire night last year.
Brian Cameron, of the Fire Brigades Union, said that any government action to protect emergency service workers, and the general public, was to be weclomed. "Last year there were score of attacks on fire crews and other emergency staff," he said. "This is unacceptable. Any moves to restrict the use of foreworks by private individuals and to tighten the law are particularly welcome."
Ms Denham has said that the consultation showed "overwhelming" public support for a change in how fireworks are sold and used and pledged to work with stakeholders to "drive forward action to reduce the damage caused by fireworks misuse."
She has spoken of the "wider harm" caused to ex-service people and those with underlying mental health issues as well as the "serious distress and occasional injury caused to animals".
Scottish SPCA head of education and policy Gilly Mendes Ferreira said: "For years we have supported tighter restrictions on public use due to the stress and anxiety that can be caused to animals.
“Over the years the Scottish SPCA has received a handful of calls relating to an animal that has been injured due to the direct misuse of fireworks. The majority of calls relate to animals that have become injured through trying to escape the noise of fireworks.
“Incidents include dogs running on to roads and being hit by oncoming traffic, birds, such as swans, flying into electricity pylons and horses being badly injured after running through barbed wire fences. We will continue to work closely with the Scottish Government to improve animal welfare surrounding the use of fireworks.”