There are many things that have changed in my lifetime that, looking back, it is hard to believe were not changed decades earlier.

I find it hard to believe, for instance, that I ever thought it was a good idea to set fire to some leaves wrapped in paper and breathe in the resultant fumes and then inflict those self-same fumes on a table of diners only feet away from us in restaurants or on planes where air quality is arguably even more important, given its limited supply up there? Hitting small children with sticks and canes as a form of punishment, packing homes with asbestos as a fire retardant, thinking that motorcyclists were adequately protected without helmets, criminalising and imprisoning people for being gay, the list of things we used to think were perfectly acceptable is quite long.

I am sure that one we day will look back at the completely uncontrolled use of fireworks in just the same way.

We have been slowly moving in what I would consider to be right direction for some time. The jumping jacks and ‘bangers’ of the inedible kind that grown men used to think it was okay to throw at their friends for a laugh are mercifully no longer available.

More and more people now believe that firework displays should be the province of professionals or strictly regulated community organisations.

Aside from the inherent danger of any firework, there is the knock-on effect on domestic animals and wildlife to consider.

We dread the week before and after November 5 at Baker Towers and have to buy medication for horses and dogs in particular who are traumatised by the local bangs and explosions. We have had to get up in the middle of the night to calm panicking goats and horses on occasion.

Farmers with hay stacks have had their cattle food for the following year incinerated by the detritus of badly aimed rockets.

Now to make things worse birthdays, weddings and other events are celebrated with unexpected firework activity which give no time for neighbours with animals to prepare. And if you have a field full of pregnant sheep and a neighbour decides to celebrate his divorce with a rocket display, then cruel chaos can ensue.

If you agree that further stricter regulation of the sale, type and use of fireworks is needed then sign the petition at or check