A £75,000 campaign by the RSPCA to ban loud fireworks has suffered a devastating blow after the Government refused to bow to its key demand.
The Quiet Please campaign called for a ban on fireworks louder than 95 decibels. But the Fireworks Act, which became law on 7 August, allows up to 120 decibels.
Since the campaign launched 18 months ago, the RSPCA has paid for research into noise levels, a 'quiet' fireworks display for MPs, a text message campaign, advertising and campaign materials such as posters and leaflets.
"We received a huge amount of support and there will be many disappointed pet owners," said Steve Cheetham, the charity's chief veterinary officer.
Press officer Helen Briggs added that the campaign was "by no means over".
The Blue Cross, however, hailed the Act for banning fireworks between 11pm and 7pm and for restricting where they can be used.
"We are pleased," said senior press officer Simon Pope. "It's the biggest change for 30 years."
Dogs Trust chief executive Clarissa Baldwin added: "Obviously we would have liked to see the 95 decibel limit introduced so it's disappointing in some ways, but overall the Act is good news for cats and dogs."