Weddings and festival celebrations are a large part of Indian culture; with all the lights, sights and scents. Sounds of revelry take over and many times these large celebrations with all it’s dancing, food and drink involve a show of firecrackers. As humans, the sight is beautiful as colours and lights burst in the sky in a terrific show and various anaars and chakris light up the streets. Apart from the resultant air and noise pollution, the story is very different for our non-human population.
As a pet parent, there is no day you dread more than Diwali. One of the biggest festivals of the year, the fireworks start days in advance and run into late hours of the night. The sounds are unpleasant for some people, and even more so for cats and dogs, whose hearing is even more sensitive than human beings. Firecrackers for them are terrifying, every year we hear of so many unfortunate cases of dogs jumping the house gate and running away even getting lost, a few poor souls run into the streets and head on into traffic out of sheer fear and confusion. We spend hours comforting our dogs through this tough time and have devised our own methods of drowning out the noise and keeping animals as calm as possible; animals who are out on the streets have an even worse reaction. If a person didn’t understand what the random bursts of light in the sky and loud piercing explosions were, we’d be scared too. The stress is unimaginable and can cause heart problems, nausea and even panic attacks for animals.
A town in Italy has taken an incredible step in support of our furry four-legged friends. Located in the province of Parma, Collechio’s local government has introduced a legislation that calls for people to use silent fireworks out of respect for the wellbeing of animals. Setti Fireworks is the company that makes these silent fireworks that are more of a lightshow, minus the overwhelming booms that go with it. We stand in applause for the people of Collechio for this heartwarming act. India could really take a lesson from Collechio's law, taking into account that Diwali turns into a ‘torture fest’ for street dogs with horrific cases animal abuse every year during this auspicious season.
There are many animal welfare organisations, like Canines Can Care and Friendicoes, that are doing more than their fair share to make the time better and easier for animals. It’s time for the government to follow Collechio and take the next step with such a law and silent fireworks to make Diwali, new years eve, weddings and numerous festivities that involve bursting crackers an easier time for not just animals, but senior citizens and patients as well.