Scottish vets are calling for major retailers to stop selling fireworks due to the distress it causes pets and wildlife. 

Pets burnt or hit by cars after being spooked, others going missing, injuries caused in a moment of panic, and even malicious firework injuries.

These are just some of the heart-breaking reasons vets in Scotland are issuing a plea to supermarkets to stop selling fireworks.

In an open letter, Dave Leicester, head of telehealth at Vets Now, the UK’s leading emergency vets which is headquartered in Dunfermline, has claimed immediate action is needed to prevent animals being traumatised and injured on and around bonfire night.  

According to Vets Now, millions of pets across Scotland are traumatised by fireworks every year, sometimes with tragic consequences. 

Many of these are caused by random displays - prompting fears that there will be an upsurge in unsanctioned displays across the country in response to the cancellation of large-scale professional events due to coronavirus.

If there is a rise in amateur firework displays in gardens and streets, the risk to pets also rises, vets say.

The RSPCA have estimated that 45 per cent of dogs in the UK show signs of fear when they hear fireworks, and with a surge in puppy ownership during this year’s lockdown, vets are also concerned that many new pet owners might not be aware  their pet is scared.  

According to a poll carried out by Vets Now of more than 3400 people, 83 per cent of pet owners support banning the sale of fireworks for private use.  

Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s decision to ban fireworks in 2019 in all of its 2300 stores - which was met with an overwhelmingly positive response. 

But now Scottish vets desperately want other supermarkets to follow suit, as they brace themselves to be inundated with calls from worried pet owners across Scotland in the run up to bonfire night.

The open letter reads: “The dangers fireworks pose to pets, livestock and wildlife is no secret.

"Every year in our emergency clinics, we see the heart-breaking reality of seemingly-harmless fireworks displays — pets burnt or hit by cars after being spooked, others bolting and going missing, sometimes never to return, self-inflicted, life-changing injuries caused in a moment of panic, and, sadly, also deliberate, malicious firework injuries.   

“As organised local fireworks displays are likely to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, more people will look to hold their own private displays using fireworks.

"This will lead to even greater risk than in previous years.

"We call on you to stop the sale of fireworks in your stores to prevent all of this."

Members of the public can back the calls of Scottish vets by signing a petition here.