When fireworks became legal in Maine last year, there was an audible ‘@#$%&*” from the horse community.
Fireworks tend to freak horses out, especially when combined with darkness and surprise (I’m pretty sure horses don’t have 9pm, July 4th marked on their calendars.).
The results can be scary and potentially tragic as horses bolt from this loud, bright, indeterminable danger.
Maine legislators have submitted a total of six bills to change the current firework legalization, according to Peggy Schaffer, Small Business Advocate in the Secretary of State’s office.
Representive Lizzie Dickerson (D) of Rockland has put forth “An Act to protect Farm Animals from Noise from the Discharge of Fireworks or other Explosives.”
The bill prohibits the use of consumer fireworks or explosives, either loose or contained within a tube, within one mile of a field or pasture that contains livestock.
With any luck, concerned horse owners will have some legal support by summer or so. But it may not happen without our community testifying.
Contact your representatives and consider speaking up at the committee-level public hearings.
If state laws fail to restrict fireworks near your barn, Dickerson and Schaffer both mentioned that towns can enact specific restrictions. For change on the municipal level, start by contacting your town or city representatives and attend town meetings.
All firework-related bills will go through the Criminal Justice committee before heading on to the House and Senate.
To follow proceedings, check out the legislative calendar here.
Connect with Schaffer here.
Connect with Dickerson here.