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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 October 2006, 07:46 GMT 08:46 UK
Fireworks 'turning dogs to drugs'
Benji the scared dog
Dogs like Benji are left terrified by loud fireworks
A Lancashire MP has called for a ban on the sale of fireworks because too many pets are being prescribed drugs to cope with the explosions.

A Chorley vet said increasing numbers of animals had to be given anti-anxiety drugs, like Diazepam.

Chorley's Labour MP Lindsay Hoyle has tabled a Commons Early Day motion calling for fireworks to be restricted to organised events.

The RSPCA is calling for restrictions on firework noise levels.

He is absolutely terrified and literally climbs over the furniture, tries to hide and tries to escape
Alan Burnett, dog owner

Mr Hoyle told the BBC: "When drugs have to be prescribed to animals there is something wrong.

"It tells us how serious an issue fireworks have become."

Alan Burnett, from Chorley, said his dog Benji took Diazepam.

"When fireworks are set off you get the bangs, the cracks, the whistles," he said.

"He is absolutely terrified and literally climbs over the furniture, tries to hide and tries to escape."

Behaviour problems

Vincent Wager, of Hillcrest Animal Health in Chorley, said he saw lots of animals at this time of year, but that the problem was becoming worse.

"If it was for one or two nights we don't think the issue would be too much of a problem," said the vet.

"People are having to consistently treat their animals over a long period of time and it does become an issue."

Mr Wager said his practice used a combination of behavioural therapy and anti-anxiety drugs to treat frightened animals.

Left unchecked, animals can end up displaying aggressive or destructive behaviour at loud noises, he added.


SEE ALSO
Helping dogs fight fireworks fear
20 Oct 06 |  Northern Ireland
Officers seize illegal fireworks
12 Oct 06 |  Merseyside
Explosive end to seized fireworks
07 Mar 06 |  Manchester
Fireworks as bandstand demolished
13 Mar 06 |  Lancashire

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