Firecrackers have been used by some as tools of vandalism and intimidation before and after New Year’s Eve, resulting in both animals and people being injured. Thus, more and more people are vehemently protesting against the production and distribution of pyrotechnic materials. In the past few days, several Romanian citizens have published online petitions, already signed by thousands, demanding that lawmakers outright ban firecrackers and fireworks.
On January 1, an appalling story began to spread in Romanian media. According to digi.24.ro, some people put a firecracker in a stray dog’s mouth in Szatmár (Satu Mare); it then exploded, gravely hurting the animal. The news portal stated that the dog was taken to the vet, but its condition is severe. An association has undertaken the dog’s care and offered a reward for information on the heartless perpetrators.
According to the law, such an act is punishable with jail time (three months to one year) or a fine – depending on the judges’ decision. Digi.24.ro also pointed out that international studies have shown that one out of two serial killers – including some of America’s most horrifying murderers – had a record of torturing animals before they started to take human lives. The police have not yet made a statement, but some news sites have reported that the current suspects include minors.
One online petition that has gathered almost 8,000 signatures in just one day demands punishment for the perpetrators and jail time for parents in the case of minors. Another petition gathered close to 11,000 signatures in two weeks; this one asks lawmakers to ban the production and sale of firecrackers, fireworks or any other kind of pyrotechnic device belonging to these categories. The authors draw attention to the fact that these products lead to injuries and deaths, are dangerous and harmful to people and animals and significantly pollute the environment.
On January 2, Romania’s General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations was quoted by Europa FM radio as saying that 82 people were hurt due to the usage of pyrotechnic tools on the night of New Year’s Eve; additionally, firecrackers and fireworks caused fires in 28 locations. In the first two days of 2020, paramedics had to carry out emergency interventions in almost 3,000 cases.
Title image: Firecrackers as noise making tools are meant to chase evil forces away, not attract them.