Concerns over the potential stockpiling of fireworks by enthusiasts have been voiced by the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).
The RSPCA says there is evidence people have been stockpiling fireworks to use outside the few days around Guy Fawkes Day when their sales are permitted.
It said it advised animal owners to take special precautions to protect their pets over the Guy Fawkes season.
“However, responsible owners cannot be expected to keep animals confined indefinitely,” national chief executive Robyn Kippenberger said.
Last year, the SPCA was made aware of distressed and lost animals with fireworks starting well before the date of first sale, indicating that people had stockpiled from the previous year.
It said 1135 tonnes of fireworks had been imported last year.
Kippenberger said: “Surely injury and death of animals cannot be an ‘acceptable’ result for a celebration that is not part of our history or culture. Guy Fawkes fireworks cause millions of dollars of damage to people, property and pets every year – damage that is totally avoidable.”
The RSPCA wants fireworks restricted to public displays.
“A 2011 Facebook survey showed 71 per cent of the public would like to see personal sales banned and other media have reported between 67 per cent and 53 per cent supporting public displays only,” Kippenberger said.
“The SPCA believes there is majority support for a total ban of fireworks for personal use and we are calling on Government to take a tough stand.”