Sainsbury’s has announced that it will not be stocking fireworks in any of its 2,300 branches this year over fears for the welfare of pets, wildlife and the elderly.
The move has been welcomed by charities and shoppers, who have said that the traditional bonfire night celebrations are outdated and cause animals unnecessary distress.
It is against the law to set off fireworks between 11pm and 7am except on special occasions, including Bonfire Night and New Year's Eve, but some people have called for a total ban.
Sainsbury’s announced their own attempt to clamp down on the explosive form of entertainment in a tweet to a concerned customer.
Calls for other supermarkets to follow suit
Sally Woolf, from London, tweeted the supermarket saying: “@sainsburys Have to say well done & thank you.
“Been informed local branch #Stanmore won't be selling fireworks this year due 2 the distress it causes our pets & wildlife.
“Any other stores doing this? Can't thank you enough as my dog is beside herself with fear at these times.'
Sainsbury's official Twitter account replied, “Hey Sally, thanks! We won't be selling fireworks in any of our stores this year. Hope this helps!”
Ms Woolf then tagged Tesco, Morrisons and Asda, urging them to follow suit and adopt the ban.
Although most supermarkets only stock fireworks during the October and November period and in the run up to New Year, Sainsbury’s is the first major retailer to introduce a complete ban.
A spokesperson from Sainsbury’s added, “Fireworks are no longer available in our stores but customers can continue to choose from a range of seasonal products, such as glow sticks and light up spinning wands.”
Welcomed by Dogs Trust
The move has been welcomed by the Dogs Trust, which congratulated Sainsbury’s on leading the way in introducing the year-round ban.
A spokesperson for the charity said, “We congratulate Sainsbury's on their decision not to sell fireworks this year and would encourage others to do the same.
“Although they can look beautiful, fireworks can be very distressing for dogs when let off unexpectedly, and because they are so easily accessible all year-round, dog owners are on tenterhooks as to when their beloved pooch will next be frightened
“A survey found over half of the British public think fireworks should be limited to public displays only.
“To reduce the distress caused to dogs we would like their use restricted to licensed public displays at certain times of the year or organised events, which are well publicised. This will enable owners to take steps to prepare their dogs ahead of any fireworks events. Good for the dogs and good for firework fans.”
At the moment, purchasing fireworks illegally can result in a £5,000 fine or even imprisonment of up to six months.