Animal rights groups say they will go to court to force the government to ban loud fireworks after four dogs were killed and many more were left with severe trauma during New Year celebrations in KwaZulu-Natal.
SPCA and Animal Rights in Action described this year’s celebrations as worse than in previous years for the high number of “big-bang” fireworks that were ignited.
SPCA centres said they had received about 50 animals which had fled their homes and they were expecting more to be brought in tomorrow.
A spokeswoman for the Pietermaritzburg SPCA, Maureen Vida, said one dog had choked to death as it tried to get through the fence at its Scottsville home, while another was knocked over and killed in the road while fleeing fireworks at a Kloof shopping centre.
She said the centre was busy yesterday morning as people brought in stray and traumatised dogs.
“The only option we are left with is to approach the courts to force the government to ban loud fireworks. Every year we plead with animal owners to take precautions to protect their animals before celebrations that involve fireworks, but it would seem this time they did not listen,” said Vida.
“There is nothing more we can do, except to approach the courts to ban noisy fireworks,” she said.
Kloof-Highway SPCA spokeswoman Janine Kyle said staff at the centre had to be recalled from their holidays to attend to traumatised animals yesterday morning.
Animal Rights in Action spokesman Steve Smit said fireworks which produced loud bangs were illegal, although the state did not take action against people who sold and used them.
Smit said he had found a traumatised dog walking along the M19 in Westville early yesterday morning. Fortunately, a name tag around its neck identified the dog and her owner as Zoe and her owner as Mark Cramer.
“It was easy to locate the owner because of the tag.”
SPCA inundated with traumatised dogs