I live in a remote spot and my only neighbours are a charming but feisty family who have taken to celebrating everything with fireworks: New Year, their birthdays or just when friends come over. Occasionally, it is enjoyable provided I know I can shut the animals away, but now it has gone too far. Can you arm me with a few facts before I approach them?
RWS, by email

By law, fireworks must not be set off between 11pm and 7am with the exception of Bonfire Night (when the cut-off is midnight) and New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali (1am), but they can be used all year round.


Since January 2005 you can buy fireworks from registered sellers for private use on these dates only: 15 October to 10 November; 26 to 31 December; and three days before Diwali and Chinese New Year.


At other times, they must be purchased from licensed shops. There is no legal requirement to inform neighbours with animals when using fireworks, though the police think it is irresponsible not to do so.


Under Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, it is an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to animals. Those convicted face a fine of up to £20,000 or up to 51 weeks in prison. Enforcement of this lies with Trading Standards, the police or the RSPCA.

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