Renee Lang with one of her six chickens that have stopped laying eggs due to fireworks. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Fireworks ruffle feathers

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A Nelson woman’s chickens are so traumatised by the recent spate of fireworks that they have stopped laying eggs.

Renee Lang says since the launch of fireworks season, her six chickens, which are usually “egg machines,” have laid just one egg in the past four days.

“Fireworks have contributed to that because any animal that undergoes any sort of shock like that will have its systems upset.”

Renee says the fireworks rain over her Hampden St property from the beginning of November until New Year’s Eve.

“They have gone off every night since, and I especially notice them after 10pm. It’s a very tough time for animals and my flock of chickens have reacted badly to these huge bangs.”

Renee says she has seen a nasty side to society when debating fireworks online.

“The ones who are for it are defensive to the point of being hostile as in ‘who cares if your horse runs into a fence and breaks its leg,” or ‘who cares if your dog runs away and doesn’t come back,’ that kind of attitude makes me really uncomfortable.”

She says while she would love to see a total ban, she realises it is not realistic. “I think a total ban on public sales would be a good start so if people want to go to the speedway and terrorise all the farm animals out there, they can.”

Renee hopes a compromise can be reached where fireworks are only permitted once a year and that they should have cultural significance.

“Why are we celebrating Guy Fawkes when Matariki is far more relevant?”

Nelson City Council group manager of corporate services Nikki Harrison says council has received a few calls about fireworks in the last week.

“We had three service requests relating to fireworks, two were asking for further information about the future use of fireworks (about where they can be lit) and one was relating to a lost dog which ran away when it heard fireworks.”