A CHARITY warns DIY fireworks displays could terrify animals this Bonfire Night.

The RSPCA has been called to collapsed horses and hyperventilating dogs in the past and it fears things could be even worse this year because of coronavirus restrictions.

With most formal fireworks displays being cancelled, the Horsham-based charity is expecting more people to hold unofficial celebrations in their gardens.

An RSPCA study found that more than one in five people had plans for a private event.

The Argus:

RSPCA animal welfare expert Dr Mark Kennedy said: “Due to the rule of six and the restrictions on households mixing, we fear that there will be lots of little displays taking place over weeks and weeks, spreading out fireworks noise and causing prolonged distress for animals.

“We’d urge people to be considerate and keep neighbours with animals, including those with nearby horses and other livestock, informed of plans well in advance so they can make preparations to reduce the stress to their animals.”

The Argus:

The RSPCA said that last year a horse named Harry in Wales had become impaled on a fence post after being spooked by fireworks.

He needed emergency veterinary treatment.

Then, in Portsmouth in August, a Staffie dog named Ava was found collapsed on a bed, hyperventilating and surrounded by splatters of blood after an impromptu firework display while her owners were out of the house.

The Argus:

Fortunately, the pooch made a recovery.

To prevent further incidents of this nature, the RSPCA launched its #BangOutofOrder campaign in 2019. It calls for the restriction of private use of fireworks to agreed traditional dates (November 5, New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali), the maximum permitted noise level of fireworks for public sale to be reduced to 90 decibels and the licensing of all public fireworks displays.

Dr Kennedy said: “Fireworks are extremely stressful and frightening for lots of animals. But they can also cause very serious injury and even death to some.

The Argus:

“It can be particularly dangerous for horses and livestock who can be spooked by the loud bangs and bright flashes of light, putting them at risk of injuring themselves on fencing, farm equipment or fixtures and fittings.”

He warned wildlife can also be seriously affected. Animals such as hedgehogs are at risk of being burnt alive after making their homes inside bonfires and piles of leaves, while some birds will flee their nests or whole colonies can disappear due to noise.