Illuminate is spreading awareness and championing stronger animal welfare through a spectacular public light and sound show for Waipā families and communities to enjoy.
Brought to you by the Cambridge Business Chamber, it’s an important step in their grassroots advocacy work with the equine industry around the welfare of animals and the impact of fireworks.
It is well-documented that veterinary clinics, SPCA, and local councils see animals injured and traumatised by fireworks every year. These include pets, wildlife, and stock, and in Waipā, the equine capital of New Zealand, horses are a considerable concern. Fireworks can cause severe anxiety and stress; in some cases, reported injuries are horrific.
So let's all be careful, respectful, and aware during Guy Fawkes and when using fireworks!
Endorsed by the SPCA
SPCA Science Officer, Dr Alison Vaughan:
We’re thrilled to see Cambridge putting animal welfare first this Guy Fawkes, by opting for a light and sound show instead of fireworks. Each year, SPCA receives dozens of calls - especially around Guy Fawkes - relating to injuries, frightened animals, missing pets and occasionally, abuse of animals with fireworks. Sadly, many animals become highly distressed by the loud noises and bright flashes given off by fireworks, which can lead to animals running away, causing injury or becoming involved in traffic accidents. A recent survey of horse guardians in New Zealand found that 35% of respondents reported having horses break through a fence in response to fireworks and more than a quarter of respondents reported horses sustaining injuries. Guys Fawkes also falls in spring when many wildlife such as birds are nesting. Animals change their behaviour in response to loud and abrupt noises and this can lead to physical injury, disruption of feeding, abandonment of young, stress and death.
SPCA has long advocated for a ban on the private sale and use of fireworks, but unfortunately, despite huge support from New Zealanders and other organisations, we are yet to see a ban put in place. While members of the public are restricted to purchasing fireworks on set days, there is nothing stopping them from being set off on any day of the year – not just on Guy Fawkes – meaning pet and farmed animal owners must remain vigilant at all times.
We support organisations and individuals who choose to celebrate important events in a way that minimises impacts to animals and the environment.
Supported by the Equine community