Search Our Site

Search form


Wild Fireworks Harm Wildlife

June 30, 2017 | new york city / Wildlife

Friends of Animals’ Board Member, Elizabeth Forel, wrote a poignant letter to the editor in The Villager newspaper urging New York City to use quiet fireworks this year as they are more wildlife-friendly than traditional ones.


We hope NYC gets the message, and we hope you spread the message in your own city and town. In parts of Europe, quiet fireworks displays have grown increasingly common. In Britain, venues close to residents, wildlife or livestock often permit only quiet fireworks. One town in Italy, Collecchio, passed a law in 2015 that all fireworks displays must be quiet.


Read Forel’s letter below and please share.


To The Editor:


Fireworks displays, like the ones sponsored by the New York Philharmonic and the New York City Parks Department at the end of concerts in parks citywide, are a cliché. The sound of explosions on a recent Wednesday night was all too familiar — like something was blowing up a few blocks away. But it was only the end of the Philharmonic concert in Central Park and the tired fireworks that many people wish would just stop. Enough is enough.


New York City’s rhetoric about its new WildlifeNYC campaign is not believable. Those same raccoons lauded on subway posters are frightened out of their minds when explosions go off in the park — their home. I have been at the park when I heard the frantic flapping of wings in reaction to the first explosions. I wondered how many dead birds were found the next day when it was light. The wonderful music of Dvorak, Bernstein and Gershwin should be allowed to stand on its own.


Fireworks displays are an environmental disaster, releasing chemicals into the air, soil and water. Firework's noise causes extreme stress to carriage horses, pet dogs, cats and the many wildlife species that occupy the parks. People who have pets can attest to how stressed they become. Terrorized dogs have been known to run off and get lost.


The noise can be heard for miles, sounding like explosions. The “bombs bursting in air” is upsetting to war veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress.


The good news is that there are ecofriendly and quiet versions of fireworks — essentially light shows. Other cities are doing it. New York can do it also.


Elizabeth Forel
Forel is president, Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages


Yes! Excellent idea! Also people with PTS and kids who are sensitive to noise. If quieter fireworks exist why not use them!

My beloved cat Kitty who passed away recently after 20 years was terrified of fireworks and firecrackers. I remember one fourth of July when I had to hold my sweet Kitty and rock him back and forth in my wooden rocking chair, because he was so scared of the loud, sudden noises. Any animal whether it is a cat, dog or a raccoon would be terrified of these loud, sudden, continuous boom and bang noises. They do not know what fireworks are, so of course they would be startled. Fireworks are beautiful and should continue to be used, but there should be ones used which will not terrify animals. Thank you.

Add new comment