A horse which had became impaled on a fence after being frightened by fireworks has been rescued.
The alarm was raised after the horse – thought to have been spooked by fireworks – was found on Saturday 2 November, impaled on a fence post in a hedge at Bryn Celyn, Holywell.
The owner and a vet, among others, were at the location, with the RSPCA being called for assistance.
RSPCA inspector Jenny Anderton said: “After some time and great difficulty the owner and the vet eventually managed to rescue the horse – named Harry – and myself and RSPCA animal collection officer Ann Lloyd Williams were there as an extra pair of hands.
“The horse must have been laying there all night and it took us until 1pm to get him out, get him up and get him on a wagon for the vets to attempt surgery on his very serious wounds, caused by impaling himself on the hedge and fencing. We of course don’t know for definite, but it seems pretty likely that Harry was frightened by nearby fireworks that were set off.
“We really hope Harry recovers – it is just so sad to think how frightened he must have been and then in so much distress while he was impaled. This incident really does show what the effects of fireworks can be and we urge people to be mindful of the animals around them when setting fireworks off.”
Local livery owner, Lily Roberts, who was also present at the rescue, said: “He had crushed the hedge and we had to cut the hedge around him. It was just horrible. I had never seen anything like this before.”
This Bonfire Night, RSPCA Cymru is calling for action to tackle the unnecessary stress caused to animals at this time of year.
The animal welfare charity is throwing its support behind concerned pet owners and animal lovers with its ‘Bang Out Of Order’ campaign; encouraging the responsible use of fireworks, and the adoption of tighter regulations concerning their use.
RSPCA wants to see limits to the public sale and use of fireworks closer to four popular celebration dates – Bonfire Night, New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali.
A spate of calls to the RSPCA about the impact fireworks have on animals has prompted the charity to campaign for:
noise restrictions on the maximum level of decibels in fireworks available to the public
mandatory licensing and prominent advertising for all public displays
heightened awareness on the impact of fireworks on the animals around us
Animal lovers are being urged to contact their local council to call for action, including better advertising of public firework displays, and to encourage local suppliers of fireworks to stock ‘quieter’ fireworks for public display.
Shelley-Marie Phillips, RSPCA campaigns manager, said: “Sadly, fireworks and firework noise can lead to fear, distress and sometimes injury for many animals.
“Across England and Wales, we received over 400 calls last year about animals negatively impacted – so we’re calling for action to tackle this unnecessary stress and help keep animals safe at this time of year.
“Fireworks can cause problems for so many animals – from pets and farm animals; to wildlife, who can also be burned after making their homes in bonfires. Quite simply – it is bang out of order.
“That’s why we want to see action taken – from ensuring animal owners have the chance to be more prepared, to seeing tighter regulations around the sale of fireworks and advertising for displays.
“We’re asking supporters to join us in taking action against fireworks – by writing to their local Councillors and calling for action at a local level – from better advertising of displays, to a public awareness campaign and encouraging stops to shock lower-noise alternatives.
“There’s so many steps pet owners can take to mitigate risks. Preparedness is really important, and our website is full of advice for pet owners on how to help their animals through firework season, whether this is by building a safe den, finding hiding places for cats or closing windows and curtains to help soundproof against the noise.”
To join the RSPCA’s Bang Out of Order campaign and write to your local council in Wales, take action online. There is a wealth of advice on caring for animals around fireworks online.
If you see an animal you have concerns about please call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999.