Majority of Scots want tougher control on fireworks

Public concerns over animal welfare highlighted.

A clear majority of Scots want to see tighter controls on the use and sale of fireworks.

A YouGov survey commissioned by the Scottish government and involving a representative sample of the Scottish population, showed 71% of adults supported tighter controls on the sale of fireworks to the public, with over half backing a ban.

And out of more than 16,000 respondents to a Scottish Government consultation on the issue:

  • 94% want to see tighter controls on the sale of fireworks
  • 93% want to see stronger regulations to ensure animals are not caused unnecessary suffering as a result of fireworks misuse
  • 92% feel there should be tighter controls on fireworks use
  • 87% would support an outright ban on the sale of fireworks

Concerns over the impact of fireworks on those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and autism were also highlighted.

Community Safety Minister Ash Denham said:

The results of our consultation and survey demonstrate overwhelming public support for a change in how fireworks are sold and used.
“While legislation on the sale of fireworks is reserved to Westminster, I will work with stakeholders to look at the powers we have to drive forward action to reduce the damage caused by fireworks misuse.
“The consultation also highlighted the wider harm that can be caused to members of our communities, including our ex-service people and those with underlying mental health issues. The serious distress and occasional injury caused to animals around times of celebration has also been highlighted as a specific concern.  
“I will update Parliament shortly on our intended action to ensure fireworks are used safely and appropriately.”

Scottish SPCA head of education and policy Gilly Mendes Ferreira said:

We’re pleased so many members of the public have voiced their opinion and cited animal welfare as one of the reasons to restrict the public sale and use of fireworks. For years we have supported tighter restrictions on public use due to the stress and anxiety that can be caused to animals.
“Over the years the Scottish SPCA has received a handful of calls relating to an animal that has been injured due to the direct misuse of fireworks. The majority of calls relate to animals that have become injured through trying to escape the noise of fireworks.
“Incidents include dogs running on to roads and being hit by oncoming traffic, birds, such as swans, flying into electricity pylons and horses being badly injured after running through barbed wire fences. We will continue to work closely with the Scottish Government to improve animal welfare surrounding the use of fireworks.”


The Scottish Government’s consultation on fireworks ran for 13 weeks and received 16,420 responses from members of the public and stakeholder organisations. The process included 29 public events around Scotland.

A consultation on fireworks in Scotland: your experiences, your ideas, your views. Analysis of responses to the public consultation exercise

Fireworks legislation and impacts: International Evidence Review

Public attitudes towards fireworks in Scotland: A representative omnibus survey


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