The Distressing Impact of Fireworks on Equines Shown in New Footage

6 November 2023

Redwings Horse Sanctuary has this week released video footage showing the effects of fireworks on some of their residents taken over the weekend (Bonfire Night, Sunday 5th November).

In recent years, the impact of fireworks displays, both public events and private events, has been hitting the headlines across the media. In recent years, the impact of fireworks displays, both public events and private events, has been hitting the headlines across the media, but there are still few restrictions on who can hold events, and where and when they can be held.

Redwings alone have suffered the tragic deaths of three animals due to the stress caused during such displays held near their centres, and already this year, four horses have been killed as a direct result of fireworks, and, as a result, the BHS has issued guidelines for the general public to help reduce the risk of more tragic accidents occurring across the UK.

Video courtesy of Redwings Horse Sanctuary

Upon release of their video, Lynn Cutress, Chief Executive of Redwings, said: “We have experienced the worst effects of fireworks here at Redwings, with three of our beloved residents dying in previous years because of large displays near our centres.

“We take all measures possible to protect our horses, ponies, donkeys and mules, including moving them to other locations, but as all horse owners know, this isn’t always an option.

“With many fireworks displays re-arranged due to wet weather we are very concerned that their awful impact on animals is going to be prolonged this year as displays continue through November and beyond, and whilst our horses are so far thankfully okay, we know that other organisations haven’t been so lucky.

“As a prey species, horses are naturally fearful of loud noises. When they’re stressed and frightened, they can exhibit ‘flight’ behaviours, like galloping to the point of exhaustion or trying to escape their enclosure because they feel unsafe. “

“We hope that by releasing this video people will see how distressing fireworks are for horses, as they are for other animals, and think again about the cost of using them.”

Redwings are amongst the many equestrian charities and organisations urgings horse and yard owners to write to their MP’s to ask for a review of fireworks legislation and the impact they have on animals.

The BHS is also encouraging equestrians and the wider public to log any firework concerns through the Horse i app. Logging these incidents will help the equine charity to better understand the rate of equine-related incidents across the UK and, critically, lobby for a change in the law relating to equine safety.

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