Party for the Animals proposes bill for fireworks ban

11 februari 2020

The Dutch Party for the Animals presented a private members’ bill for a ban on consumer fireworks last week. The proposed bill regulates a ban on all heavier categories of fireworks. "Children's fireworks" such as sparklers will still be allowed. The law is supported by various Dutch social organisations.

Party for the Animals member of parliament Esther Ouwehand.

"The Party for the Animals has been campaigning against consumer fireworks for years", says Party for the Animals parliamentary leader Esther Ouwehand explaining her bill. "For a long time we were almost completely alone, but now other political parties are following."

Fireworks cause anxiety and stress to many animals and people. Hundreds of people are injured every New Year, mostly through legal fireworks. About half of the victims are accidental passers-by. Fireworks contain heavy metals, and other toxic substances that seriously pollute soil, air, and water. After every New Year, around three million kilos of extra waste must be disposed of. All this damage, nuisance, and pollution also costs society a lot of money.

"Every New Year, rescuers are pelted with fireworks and every year there are more fireworks victims. Only a fireworks ban can stop this. Various mayors also emphasize that a total ban is easier to enforce. That is why the Party for the Animals came with a private members’ bill", explains Ouwehand.

Various social organizations, such as police unions, the Society for the Protection of Birds, the Dutch Pediatric Association, the Long Fund and the Eye Fund support the initiative law and argue for a total ban.

The bill proposed a ban on most types of consumer fireworks: from skyrockets to decorative fireworks such as fountains. Fireworks in the lightest category, such as sparklers, are allowed. Also, centrally organized fireworks shows, for example by municipalities, are not prohibited.

A recent survey shows that a majority of Dutch people are in favor of a fireworks ban. Other countries already have such a ban. In Canada, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Northern Australia, and Romania selling and using fireworks is prohibited for consumers.