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Friday, 14 February, 2003, 13:19 GMT
Firework crackdown on way
Millennium fireworks in London
Fireworks will be restricted on New Year's Eve
A proposed crackdown on sales of fireworks has won government support.

Fireworks would only be allowed to be sold for three weeks around 5 November.
This will promote the responsible use of fireworks by confining general sale to the public to a relatively short period before 5 November

Bill Tynan

Sales would also be retricted to packs costing at least 10, under MP Bill Tynan's proposal.

His private members bill aims to reverse the trend towards year-round firework displays and general misuse which cause misery to residents, pets and wild animals.

The bill will also make the noisiest fireworks illegal, ban the use of fireworks late at night and impose stricter rules on the training of those who give professional displays.

New powers

People wanting fireworks for cultural festivities, such as New Year's Eve, Diwali or weddings, will have to go to retailers with a higher form of licence.

Consumer Minister Melanie Johnson said the Control of Fireworks Bill has government support and "will provide a raft of new powers to control the misuse of fireworks".

"It aims to put an end to neighbourhood nuisance and anti-social behaviour that is so often seen around bonfire night and beyond, and I welcome it wholeheartedly," she said.

Bill Tynan
Tynan: Wants to end firework misery for people and animals
"I know the misery that fireworks can cause. There is too much noise, with fireworks being let off late into the night and lasting for far too long beyond the traditional fireworks season."

Mr Tynan, Labour MP for Hamilton South, has been working on the bill with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (CoSLA) Fireworks Task Group and the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

"The misery caused to the general public and domestic and wild animals by the misuse of fireworks is a growing problem all over the UK," he said.

"Lack of licensing of retail outlets, periods of sale and noise levels, together with problems with importation, distribution and storage, all contribute to the nuisance use of fireworks.

"This will promote the responsible use of fireworks by limiting the hours of the day, confining general sale to the public to a relatively short period before 5 November."

Every year, Guide Dogs for the Blind have to retire four animals because of stress caused by fireworks. Another 150 dogs need further training to deal with problems related to loud bangs.

The Bill is set to receive its second reading on 28 February.

See also:

07 Nov 02 | England
01 Nov 02 | Breakfast
23 Sep 02 | Scotland
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