Thousands of Britons call for fireworks ban on Bonfire Night

LONDON, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) — As people across England mark the traditional “Bonfire Night” on Monday, a petition to the British House of Commons calling for fireworks to be banned neared its target of 100,000 names.

The petition demands for a law controlling sales of fireworks and abolishing all but licensed firework displays.

Fireworks will be set off Monday across the country, giving the fireworks industry a multi-million dollar boost.

Thousands of bonfires will also be lit across England, many in the back gardens of homes and others at community gatherings.

The event is an annual celebration marking a foiled attempt by Guy Fawkes and a gang of plotters to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. Along with other co-conspirators, he was hanged, drawn, and quartered in front of the parliament building in London.

Bonfires continue the tradition of burning effigies of Guy Fawkes, although many town and city authorities organize official displays, and fireworks are openly on sale to the public, with an age limit to prevent children from buying them.

Once the petition to parliament passes its 100,000 deadline it is likely to generate a debate in the House of Commons.

Horse owner Julie Doorne launched another petition last month with a target of reaching 500,000 signatures.

By Nov. 5 more than 300,000 people had backed her call for an urgent review of firework regulations.

Her petition was aimed at the Office for Product Safety and Standards in a bid to introduce measures to prevent the distress to animals caused by fireworks.

Doorne, a member of a firework abatement campaign group said: “Fireworks can cause serious distress to animals. They suffer not only psychologically, but also physically as many attempt to run away from, or hide from, the bangs.”

“With extreme noise levels and people being able to let off fireworks any time of the year, it’s difficult for those who care for animals to be able to put measures in place to protect their animals.”

She said around 40 percent of dogs are fearful of loud noises such as fireworks, meaning thousands of animals are affected by random fireworks, some starting in early October in the run up to Guy Fawkes night and continuing into New Year celebrations in January.

A spokesman for the animal charity RSPCA said: “Over the last seven years we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of people calling our emergency line, worried about the effect that fireworks are having on the animals around them.”

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