Loud bangs do not form part of Diwali

Guy Fawkes, Diwali and New Years are approaching and with that the shocking effects of fireworks on pets and humans are always a concern.

The National Council of SPCAs annually calls for restraint, responsibility and consideration from all quarters. This media statement issued by the NSPCA on 19 OCTOBER 2015 is being reissued as a means of awareness

Diwali is the Festival of Lights and its beauty is inherent and we should remember that loud bangs form no part of this wonderful celebration. Guy Fawkes has no relevance to South Africa and it is questioned why it is “celebrated” at all.

It has become increasingly evident that reckless individuals are using both “events” to utilise fireworks in a particularly anti-social manner. This includes ignoring any restrictions and causing damage to property as well as terrifying communities as well as animals. The SPCA does not enforce the laws relating to the use of fireworks. The regulations, both local and national, are watertight.

The Explosives Act is enforced by the SAPS to whom matters of concern need to be reported. This Act covers sale of fireworks as well as issues relating to the discharge of fireworks in public places. Local by-laws – which vary – regulate the discharge of fireworks on private property. In some Municipalities, permits are required, in other areas there is dispensation for Diwali between specified times.  It is illegal to sell fireworks in the open air.

Anyone with an animal is requested to be responsible and to ensure the animal’s safety and comfort. The hearing of animals is far more acute and sensitive than the hearing of a human. If a dog can hear a grasshopper eat, imagine what a firework sounds like.

Stay with your pets. Keep them indoors. If an animal is sensitive by nature, then consult your Veterinarian for advice. Do not give medication intended for humans to animals and above all, ensure that animals are not in danger of harming themselves if they bolt – even indoors – or react when a firework is discharged in the area. Despite regulations and appeals for calm, this can occur. This opportunity is taken to ask everyone to ensure that animals have identification.

Hooligan, dangerous and illegal behaviour relating to fireworks needs to be reported to the South African Police Service, giving full details, or to the Metro Police if they enforce by-laws in that specific area.

On behalf of the SPCA movement in South Africa, we extend good wishes to everyone celebrating Diwali and we trust that this year, the celebrations will be in accordance with the true spirit of the Festival of Light – beauty, light, love and above all, compassion.

Diwali 2019 in South Africa dates are as follows

  • Saturday, 26 October , 2019 – Deepavali (South Indians)
  • Sunday, 27 October, 2019 – Diwali (North Indians)

For more resources on Diwali click here

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