A Bill that prohibits the production, storage, marketing, acquisition, and use of loud fireworks to guarantee the protection of animals, people, and nature has passed its first debate in the Congress of the Republic of Colombia. If passed in subsequent debates, the production, import, storage, marketing, acquisition and use will be prohibited from 2024, and the export will be prohibited from 2025.
Juan Carlos Losada, a representative to the Liberal Chamber who tabled the bill, said the following: “This is a huge victory, the prohibition of the use of gunpowder and fireworks that exceed 80 decibels in our country. This will guarantee the protection not only of our domestic animals, of our wildlife, and the environment but also for children who sometimes have special conditions, such as autism and so on.” The congressman assured that there will be measures to protect the population that depends economically on using fireworks, and “low-noise” fireworks will still be allowed.
A report from the National Institute of Health indicates that in the December season and New Year 2021-2022, there were 1,107 people injured with gunpowder in the country, which represents an increase of 51.37%, in relation to the year 2020.
Norma Hurtado Sánchez, a member of the Colombian Congress, said to Semana, “Unfortunately the figures are increasing, more than six years ago there were no more than 1,000 cases. It is time to regulate the production, sale and marketing of gunpowder that causes so much damage, its use must be in the hands of experts…This problem not only affects people but also animals. In Cali it was reported that seven pets lost their lives as a result of the stress caused by the explosions of the fireworks; likewise, 1,105 pets were reported missing, of these, only 113 have managed to return to their homes.” The issue of the damage of fireworks to animals is international, and there have been many reports that suggest this ban should be replicated anywhere.