Alongside dogs and cats, farm animals are also easily frightened by loud noises and sudden flashes of bright light, which can startle and cause them to injure themselves on fencing and farm equipment.
Poultry is especially at risk of ‘smother’, where in a fear response, birds huddle together, which can result in death for some. Horses are prey animals and so exhibit ‘flight’ responses in response to any threat, which can result in running away or trying to escape their enclosures.
Top tips from the BVA to keep animals safe are as follows :
Keep livestock housed at times when fireworks are likely to be set off locally, and remove any firework debris from grazing pasture before letting them out.
If your animal gets distressed by fireworks or other noises, contact your local vet to discuss treatment options. This may include drugs or pheromone products.
Horses may be better turned out in a field than stabled, as in a stable, they may feel enclosed and unable to move. Owners should consult a qualified equine behaviourist if they have significant concerns about their horse’s response to fireworks.
If you’re hosting a fireworks display, avoid setting them off near horses, livestock or companion animals. Dispose of any debris and remnants of fireworks responsibly.