Pet owners tremble as fireworks sales explode

Sales of fireworks have "skyrocketed" in Christchurch, with many stores selling out quickly, retailers say.

Bad Boy Fireworks manager James York, whose company supplied fireworks to stores across the country, said fireworks sales had been "very busy" since the region's earthquakes.

"I think, since the earthquakes down there, it's been a way of relief. Sales have skyrocketed."

Many Christchurch stores had already sold out of fireworks, with roman candles proving particularly popular this year, York said.

A staff member for the Linwood branch of Switched on Gardener said the store was "hugely busy" with fireworks sales.

The store had already sold out of some products.

"Christchurch likes to eat fireworks, I think," she said.

The Warehouse Eastgate assistant manager Jamie Bennett said fireworks sales seemed to be "on a par" with last year.

"They're certainly comparative on what I've seen."

No particular type of firework stood out as the favourite, with people purchasing a wide range of products, he said.

A police spokesman said police had received a few calls over the weekend from people annoyed with fireworks being let off nearby, but no serious incidents had been reported as of yesterday.

A spokesman for the Fire Service also said no serious incidents had been reported in Christchurch as of yesterday.

Meanwhile, animal owners were being advised to take care of their pets, with animal welfare groups calling for fireworks celebrations to be restricted to public displays.

SPCA chief executive Robyn Kippenberger said the charity was aware of animals becoming distressed and lost due to fireworks.

"Guy Fawkes fireworks cause millions of dollars of damage to people, property and pets every year - damage that is totally avoidable," she said.

Cath Watson, president of the New Zealand Veterinary Association's Companion Animal Society, said animals were brought into clinics every year with painful injuries related to fireworks.

She knew of a horse that had needed to be euthanised after becoming stuck in a barbed-wire fence when it tried to escape the sound of fireworks from nearby houses.

In another incident, a dog was so traumatised by fireworks it ran until the pads on its feet were worn out.

Watson advised pet owners to keep animals indoors during fireworks displays, and said farmers should keep stock clear of known fireworks venues.

The Press