Remember Remember the Animals this November
Animal Awareness on Guy Fawkes Night
With Guy Fawkes night fast approaching, here are some tips for thought which can make a huge difference to the health, safety and wellbeing of our community animals.
• Bonfires built in advance can provide ideal hibernation sites for Hedgehogs. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society urges for people to delay building their bonfire until the day of burning, to decrease chances of Hedgehog fatalities. You should also check bundles of leaves around your bonfire for any buried hedgehogs that may not be obviously spotted. Visit the British Hedgehogs article which details what to do if you find a hedgehog. Other animals, like amphibians, may also seek shelter in piles of wood, so thorough searches with torches is also highly advised.
• Refrain from setting fireworks off near nature reserves, nesting sites or wetland areas. These areas have high levels of wildlife habitation and fireworks, especially rockets, can cause major disturbance and distress. Some animals may flea, causing them to run in front of traffic, fall into ponds or cause severe nesting failures.
• Ensure your pet is properly ID chipped with your present details, even if they usually stay in the house. This is the best preparation for a worst case scenario of them getting startled and running away.
• Closing windows and curtains will help to muffle the noise of fireworks. Put on the tv or music to help mask the sudden noises, even after going to bed, as this will calm them during the night.
• Prepare a ‘den’ for your pet, somewhere they feel safe. This could be under a table with lots of clothes/blankets for dogs and cats. Provide extra bedding for caged pets, such as rabbits and hamsters. This will allow them to comfortably burrow if they feel scared.
• Firework litter and lanterns landing in crops can be picked up by grazing livestock, unaware of their harmful nature. Litter may also go unnoticed in field, subsequently being combined/bailed and feed to livestock. The most common lantern consists of paper with a wire structure. They can soar more than a thousand feet and travel more than a mile, depending on wind. Refrain from setting off lanterns if you know there is a high chance of them landing in these sorts of areas.
• Make yourself aware of public firework displays happening near your horse. Where possible, tell organisers and neighbours that there are horses nearby so’s they can set fireworks off in the opposite direction.
• If you intend to keep your horse outside, ensure fences are secure and that there are no foreign objects lying around which may startle or injure them. Likewise, if you plan to stable your horse over this period (which should be gradually introduced) ensure that there are no hazardous objects within and hay nets are secured to stop your horse becoming entangled if startled.
• If you know your horse will be stressed, discuss options with your vet regarding medical calmers and tranquilisers.
For further info regarding horses around fireworks, visit The British Horse Society for further information.