The SNP Government has launched a consultation, which asks for views on issues such as whether the sale of fireworks to the public should be banned, and what other measures can help ensure fireworks are used safely and responsibly.
Responses will inform on-going discussions about whether changes to legislation and regulation of fireworks in Scotland are needed, following concerns about their misuse and the potential impact on public safety and animal welfare.
Legislation on the sale and storage of fireworks is reserved to the UK Government while laws covering their use is devolved.
Ash Denham MSP, Minister for Community Safety said:
“From Hogmanay to summer festivals to Bonfire night, fireworks are a focal point of many celebrations through the year. Most people enjoy fireworks responsibly but if used inappropriately or without respect for others they can cause great distress or even physical injury to people and to animals.
“From conversations with members of the public and emergency service workers I am aware of concern about the use and sale of fireworks to individuals. We want to work with others to reduce the negative impact of fireworks and the public’s voice is vital in shaping our approach going forward.
“While much of existing legislation on the sale of fireworks is reserved to Westminster, we hope this consultation will identify any gaps in the law and highlight where the regulation of fireworks could be improved.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
“Accidents have happened on numerous occasions due to irresponsible use of fireworks.
“Firework displays can be great fun, but I am also very aware that fireworks can cause tremendous distress to both family pets and farm animals, such as cattle.
“It is therefore paramount that we ensure that, if any fireworks are being used, this is done safely with minimal disruption.
“As with so much else, it is more difficult to legislate when some aspects are devolved and other reserved, it would make much more sense for the Scottish Parliament to legislate on sale and storage in addition to use. It’s pathetic that such a matter is reserved primarily to Westminster. As if the Scottish People are incapable with dealing with such a topic!
“I encourage as many people as possible to participate in this consultation.”
The consultation Fireworks in Scotland: Your Experiences, Your Ideas, Your Views runs until 13 May 2019 and can be accessed here.