Communications News: RSPCA compiles fright night pet video for PM

A DVD showing dogs in distress on Bonfire Night will be sent to Tony Blair as the RSPCA renews its campaign to ban loud fireworks.

The charity is urging supporters to send in their pictures and films of pets' reactions to fireworks at events across the country. The most harrowing will be included in a DVD that will be forwarded to ministers to urge them to amend this year's Fireworks Act.

"It is vital that as many people as possible film their pets' reactions to noisy fireworks," said Julie Briggs, the charity's senior project manager.

"We hope that once Tony Blair has witnessed the distress loud fireworks cause animals, more will be done to protect them."

The RSPCA's Quiet Please campaign suffered a significant defeat in August when the Act left out its key demand to outlaw fireworks that exceed 95 decibels. It opted instead for a 120-decibel limit.

But the charity is continuing its fight. In addition to producing the DVD, it wants the Government to give local authorities discretionary powers to set a maximum noise level of 95 decibels for fireworks in their area.

Around 50 local authorities have signed an RSPCA petition calling for the amendment to the Act.

The RSPCA has also asked gas and water companies to let their workmen drilling roads outside London's King's Cross station wear luminous tabards saying the racket they create is similar to the effect fireworks have on dogs.

An RSPCA cinema ad supporting the campaign will show a firework being lit with the noise levels set to a dog's hearing level. The charity has also sent a form to every vet in England asking them to log the numbers and types of animals they see affected by fireworks.

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