… Lobbying for the use of silent fireworks

By Rupa Seenaraine

Anxiety, confusion and temporary panic condition are some of the after effects of firefighters on domestic animals and wildlife, as these loud noises cause distress to their profound sense of hearing.

ARAPS President Shari Rodrigues DaSilva

The suffering of these animals is evident when they try to claw their way out of these environments to escape the unpredictable loud noises, despite being comforted by their owners. Travelers, on the other hand, would fly away immediately but this does little to alleviate the inevitable damage which later manifests in the form of hearing loss among other effects.
The use of fireworks and fireworks artisans is undoubtedly illegal in Guyana. Yet they are used loosely without any serious analysis by authorities. In fact, recent New Year celebrations would have confirmed this.
President of the Animal Rescue and Protection Association (ARAPS) – Tails of Hope, Shari Rodrigues DaSilva spoke to Guyana Times on the disadvantages of these actions and the need to stay away from such practices, especially with the presence of significant strays.
He shared that many owners would try to contain their animals throughout this time, to prevent them escaping. However, some animals would try every way to avoid the explosives. In some cases, even choking themselves with their lace.

Squibs and other pyrotechnics that are illegal in Guyana are openly sold in Georgetown

Dogs, in particular, can hear up to 60,000 hertz, while humans cannot hear sounds vibrating more than 20,000 vibrations per second (20,000 hertz). This represents a third of the capacity of dogs – making them more sensitive due to the longer ear canal. On the other hand, fireworks can emit sounds up to 190 decibels.

Hundreds of birds died in Rome this year after a fireworks display

“It causes them to stress. Sometimes no matter how much you try to include, it just doesn’t work. If you lease them, they may try to choke themselves just in case. If you put them in a kennel that they have been home to constantly, all of a sudden, they can even eat through the kennel to escape. You may put measures in place but fear might force them to do the impossible or the unexpected, ”the activist noted.
After escaping, many pets are not in a balanced state of mind, and can be dangerous to themselves and people by running suddenly out of nowhere and into the path of vehicles.
Leading up to the holidays, from Diwali to the New Year, ARAPS would have strengthened their awareness of the topic, and provided pet owners with tips on how to minimize the effects of deaf firefighters.
“Leading up to holidays, we would have been bringing awareness to people to lock their animals, keep them cramped and play some music not just to drown out the sounds but to calm them down. This also applies for Diwali and the Christmas and New Year season again. We used to say to play soothing music and to keep the animal calm. We were putting a lot of focus on fireworks and it seemed a little more effective this year. ”
DaSilva revealed that due to owners’ involvement with the council, there were fewer reports of animals escaping from their home. On the other hand, the use of firecrackers and squibs remained unchanged.
The President of Hope Tails noted, “We didn’t get that number of animals going missing because people were more aware. I saw it decrease slightly this year because, on behalf of the owner, they were more aware. What we noticed was a little better this year is that not so many animals have escaped but we would prefer none at all. In front of the owners, they are providing extra care this year. ”
Fireworks also affect birds through tachycardia (heart rate over 100 beats per minute) and even death by terror. This year, hundreds of birds died apparently after fireworks were lit in the Italian capital of Rome on New Year’s Eve.
Called “massacre” by animal rights groups, starling inhumane bodies were mostly throwing the ground.

Fall down
The organization is calling for a breakdown of the incident, especially as it is being sold loose on the streets. These items are illegal in Guyana. In addition, parents were encouraged to ensure that their children do not deliberately throw these explosives at animals.
“They sell these crackers out of cars, walk and sell; and even going to neighborhoods. So, they sell firecrackers freely and it goes back to enforcing these laws in place. I have seen children exhibit this behavior by throwing it towards the animals, causing them to burn. Sometimes, it causes them grave injuries. Sometimes these animals roam the road so humans would not be able to notice that they were injured, ”he said.
The Guyana Defense Force (GDF) is the only agency authorized to import fire craftsmen and other explosives. The sale and purchase of such explosives is illegal under the Customs Act as amended by Act No. 1 of 2005.
DaSilva stressed that enforcement should “start at the top” and lobby for the use of silent fireworks during celebrations. He responded to opposition from some sections of society about its use elsewhere, asserting that the situations in developed countries do not cause harm to animals as it does in Guyana.
“I think it has to start from the top. I would like to see authorities set an example by using the silent fire craftsmen. Some countries have already started. People would also say ‘Well what do you say about North America using firefighters?’. Remember that they may go to a safe place or a stadium or somewhere that is isolated from the animals. We need to consider that they do not have the position of stray animals like us or that the animal would be inside. While in Guyana, most animals are outdoors, ”noted the animal activist.
ARAPS focuses primarily on animal health awareness, rescue efforts, the prevention of animal cruelty and the creation of a safe space for those in need of support.

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