Firecrackers can be ‘traumatic ordeal’ for animals, groups say

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, (PNA) — Since many animal species have highly sensitive ears, firecracker explosions have been described by an environmental group on Sunday as “an annual rite that tortures them”.

Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator of environmental group EcoWaste Coalition urged firecracker users to give more attention to the “traumatic ordeal” that animals have to endure with by cutting down on firecracker use.

“Our traditional New Year festivities have become unbearably loud for humans and animals alike,” Lucero said in a statement, adding that animals have it worse versus humans with their sensitive ears.

To push their no-firecracker advocacy, the EcoWaste along with other environmental, church and animal welfare advocates assembled with their pets in front of Malate Catholic Church.

Atty. Heidi Caguioa of the Animal Kingdom Foundation said that aside from harming animals’ ears, explosive booms, pungent fumes and the bright displays from firecrackers also hurt the animals’ smell and eyesight.

“Cats, dogs, birds and other small animals exposed to the bursting of firecrackers are easily frightened and can suffer from an irreversible hearing impairment, eye damage, and in some cases, heart problems,” Caguioa said.

Fear and panic caused by firecracker noise can severely stress animals resulting to stomach upset, loss of appetite, and to some extent, decreased sense of direction that can result to animals getting lost or injured, the group noted.

Rev. Father Michael Martin of the Our Lady of Remedies Parish, who later officiated a special blessing of the gathered animals said that it was the duty of humans to take care of animals.

“As caretakers of nature, we are bound by a common duty not to harm other creatures that inhabit the earth,” Martin said.

“Please do not make animals suffer from the superfluous blasting of firecrackers and fireworks to herald the New Year,” he stressed.