Turin mulls silencing feast-day fireworks to protect pets

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Turin might silence its feast day fireworks to avoid distressing the town's pets. Photo: Atemporale Design/Flickr
14:44 CET+01:00
Representatives from the city council of Turin will meet on Monday to discuss plans to silence the traditional fireworks that make up the part of the city's San Giovanni feast day celebrations.

The feast day, celebrated on June 24th each year, is normally concluded with a large firework display over the city's central River Po, an event which attracts thousands of reveling Torinesi the city's central Vittorio Veneto square. 

But this year, a motion has been tabled to replace the fireworks with a more animal-friendly 'silent' variety over concerns that the loud bangs are distressing to the city's pets.

Gifted with sensitive hearing, most domestic animals are distressed by fireworks, with displays causing a spike in veterinary visits.

Animal rights issues are notoriously divisive, but the new proposals have surprisingly gained support from councillors from many different parties.

“The mood around fireworks has changed,” Democratic Party councilor Silvio Viale told La Repubblica. “We're not outlawing them, but we might experiment with a new kind of reduced-impact celebration.”

The council could even scrap the fireworks altogether in favour of a more animal-friendly light show, a decision that not only be good for animals but would also help the city combat its soaring levels of air pollution.

Turin has the highest levels of air pollution in Italy and has been battling heavy smog problems since December.

The issue became so bad late last year that the city banned New Year's Eve fireworks over fears they would augment the city's already dangerously high levels of polluting PM10 airborne particles.

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Should councillors decide to mute the fireworks at the upcoming feast day, the city will follow an example set by the town of Colecchio in Emilia-Romagna.

Last September, Colecchio council passed a law stating that all fireworks in the town needed to be of the silent variety out of concern for animal welfare.

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