The British Horse Society has issued a warning about the dangers of
fireworks close to horses. Anyone holding a firework display should make
sure that it is not being held anywhere near fields containing horses or

Last year two horses died, and another was seriously injured as a result of
a private fireworks party. The horses in question were out in a field
adjacent to where the display was being held. The fireworks could be heard
half a mile away. The horses panicked. Two of them collapsed and died due
to stress and exhaustion; the third ran into a telegraph pole and suffered
horrendous injuries. The owner lived some distance away, and by the time
she had been told what was going on and had reached the field, it was too
late to save them.

It is essential that anyone holding a firework display should inform their
neighbours, and behave in a considerate and responsible way. All
horseowners should try to see that their horses are brought in or moved if
there is to be a fireworks display nearby.

Kerstin Alford, BHS head of welfare, said: "Anyone holding a firework
display has a duty of care to the public, and this should include their
animals. Firework displays should take place well away from livestock,
particularly horses. Many horses are easily alarmed and could be terrified
by the noise and explosions of light. There is also a real danger that if
frightened they will escape from their field and perhaps cause an accident
on the roads.

"Anyone holding a firework party should also check their insurance as
a claim for damages could prove very costly."

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Updated: October 2005.