Letter: Use legal fireworks; protect animals
As the 4th of July is almost here, I’d like to remind your readers of the dangers of fireworks, both legal and illegal, when used around unsuspecting livestock and pets. By state regulation, illegal fireworks are described as any fireworks that explode and/or leave the ground.
Each year, we have many newcomers who have probably never lived near livestock thus not realizing the chaos they can provoke with fireworks. Frightened livestock can easily panic and bolt through a fence, or try to go over a stall door, either situation being extremely dangerous not only to them but to any unsuspecting person who may be in their flight of fright path. Gloucester County has a lot of horses and my biggest fear is always the panicked herd that takes off into the dark on the road where no one is expecting them to be. Usually when horses and traffic collide, especially in the dark, horses are killed and drivers are seriously injured or also killed…not something the average person would want to cause.
Not only illegal fireworks can wreck havoc with livestock and pets but so can the improper use of legal fireworks in their vicinity. Gloucester County has ordinances against both, not only leaving an offender looking at a fine and possible jail time, but also liable for any damages or injuries caused by the use of both legal and illegal fireworks. Hospital, vet and livestock replacement bills can be very costly; perhaps it would be better to just avoid the situation entirely and use fireworks in a way that is respectful of others.
For those with small children, also consider what you are teaching your children. Do you want to teach them the proper ways to handle legal fireworks or that it’s OK to break the law for a little bit of fun? Do you want to show them how to respect the safety of others or how to disregard their safety and find yourself in a courtroom over damages or loss of life? As a parent myself, I think the wise choice is obvious…
The 4th of July is a time for all to celebrate, do so wisely with regards for the safety of others. No one wants to end up in the ER or have to put livestock down because it was gravely injured when it panicked. Use fireworks safely, considerately and everyone can enjoy the holiday.
Woods Cross Roads, Va.