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Fireworks- how do we deal with breaking the law?

(83 Posts)
Shadowboy Sun 05-Nov-17 10:13:54

So- we have two aborted foals. Neighbours directly behind the farm set off fireworks without warning us. The neighbours property is approx 80 metres from the livestock barn. Sadly by the time we realised what was going on they were full pelt. We couldn’t use sedation as the gestation of the horse’s meant it would need to be a special sedative administered by the vet- by the time the vet arrived they were already labouring. Both foals (due March) have obviously died. The mares are in a bad way. The law states releasing fireworks near livestock is liable to a £20,000 fine. I’m trying to decide if it’s worth legally dealing with this? When asked last night the neighbours would not stop as they “had guests” and it was “our right to enjoy our garden” as they put it. I’m devastated. These were our first foals.

I think the neighbours did this purposefully because we had purchased the 6 acre paddock behind our/their house when it went up for sale in January. It went via auction and we outbid them so I’m wondering if a legal approach will make matters worse?

SomethingAboutNothing Sun 05-Nov-17 10:17:30

How awful for you, I'm so sorry.

I don't know about the legalities of these things but if it is an offence you should certainly pursue a conviction, they should face the consequences of their actions.

insancerre Sun 05-Nov-17 10:20:45

How awful
If you can afford it then I would say yes to pursuing legally
Otherwise it will just keep happening

endofthelinefinally Sun 05-Nov-17 10:20:59

I absolutely would pursue it.
They need to psy for what they have done.
I am so sorry about your poor foals.

PurplePillowCase Sun 05-Nov-17 10:21:34

can you ask your insurance for advice?

get the vet to write a report.
abd write down the timeline of events plus list the costs encoured

Shadowboy Sun 05-Nov-17 10:21:35

Thank you. We are devastated. I’m just not sure if this is done as a civil matter or a criminal one? Do I contact the police or solicitor?

Will this end up escalating into a ‘war’ with the neighbours?

endofthelinefinally Sun 05-Nov-17 10:22:36

Did you report to the police asap?

FiloPasty Sun 05-Nov-17 10:22:53

Definitely my sister had the same last night. I think we should have the same rules as Australia, I think it’s crazy that anyone can buy and set off fireworks. So sorry for you.

endofthelinefinally Sun 05-Nov-17 10:23:15

Horrible I know, but should you take photographs?

twinone Sun 05-Nov-17 10:23:32

I would definitely take legal advice and weigh up the odds of succeeding if you take a case against them.
What utter bastards.
I hope the mares recover from their ordeal.

endofthelinefinally Sun 05-Nov-17 10:24:12

They broke the law. You should report to police and seek legal advice.

FiloPasty Sun 05-Nov-17 10:24:14

Yes it will escalate I imagine, but the truth is they don’t care about you or your horses, and they’ll do it again. I’ll find the legislation.

insancerre Sun 05-Nov-17 10:24:25

Report it to your local police station

Shadowboy Sun 05-Nov-17 10:24:35

No we didn’t report to the police as at the time I wasn’t aware of the law and as it happened at about 8pm I didn’t realise there was anything they could have done. Having looked up the law it seems they should have been called. However, the vet has said they will write a report for anyone that requires it.

FiloPasty Sun 05-Nov-17 10:25:00

. Other relevant legislation 5.1 Animal Welfare Act 2006 It is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to cause any unnecessary suffering to any captive or domestic animal. Fireworks must not be set off near livestock or horses in fields, or close to buildings that house livestock. The offence carries a fine of up to £20,000 and/or a prison term of up to six months. The Act is enforced by local councils, animal health officers and the police. 5.2 Excessive noise - statutory nuisance In addition to the Fireworks Regulations 2004 (as amended), there is other legislation that may also be used in certain circumstances to tackle excessive noise from fireworks. Under section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990), a local authority’s Environmental Health officer must take ‘all reasonable steps’ to investigate a complaint about excessive noise. If they believe a statutory nuisance is occurring or is likely to occur or recur they must take action. Box 9: For the purposes of the EPA 1990, a statutory nuisance is: "[…] a noise emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance". If the noise continues, the officer can issue a noise abatement notice. If a person fails to comply with this notice, they can be prosecuted. Local authorities in England and Wales also have powers under the Antisocial Behaviour Act 2003 to tackle noise coming from homes or gardens between the hours of 11.00 pm and 7.00 am. If an environmental health officer is satisfied that this noise exceeds permitted levels, a warning notice may be served on the person responsible. If the warning is ignored, the offender may be prosecuted (the offence carries a fine of up to £1000). However the officer may instead issue a fixed penalty notice. Ultimately it is for local authority Environmental Health officers to judge whether a private fireworks party is a nuisance. It is also worth noting that since firework noise is short-lived, in practice it can prove difficult to locate the source. 5.3 Health and Safety at work etc. Act 1974 The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 provides for the making of health and safety regulations for the general purposes of securing the safety of persons at work. In the context of fireworks, this would generally apply to firework display operators and those events where pyrotechnic or firework displays take place in the course of a business. Animal welfare Fireworks cannot be set off in a public space, and the noise caused by them may constitute a statutory nuisance!!

insancerre Sun 05-Nov-17 10:25:29

It's not too late to report it now

FiloPasty Sun 05-Nov-17 10:26:03

So environmental health and the police as a starting point.

Tinycitrus Sun 05-Nov-17 10:26:35

That’s absolutely dreadful.
I suppose the first step would be to get advice from a solicitor. sad

Shadowboy Sun 05-Nov-17 10:27:12

Yes I think I’ll report it now.
My head is not in a very good place right now.
Here goes, I’ll see what the police say is the best ‘next syrp’

weaselwords Sun 05-Nov-17 10:27:20

I don’t know what sort of horses you were hoping to breed, but I’m guessing that they were planned and potentially valuable animals?

Breeding horses is never a guaranteed success but If anyone deliberately killed 2 of my foals I would unleash hell on them.

PurplePillowCase Sun 05-Nov-17 10:28:14

also trawl local facebook if you can see mentioning of the firework and screenshot if you do.

PurplePillowCase Sun 05-Nov-17 10:30:43

oh and if you have a neighborhood assiciation, ask them to put this in the newsletter.

MelvinThePenguin Sun 05-Nov-17 10:31:43

How awful.

It’s a criminal matter (there’s also a law relating to causing unnecessary suffering to animals). If the penalty is a fine, then it’s criminal.

Civil would be damages. This is a matter of tort though, so you could potentially persue it that way too.

I would be too cross to worry about neighbour wars. You are sensible to do so though.

GlitteryFluff Sun 05-Nov-17 10:39:12

Oh that's so awful.
I've no advice but flowers

Notreallyarsed Sun 05-Nov-17 10:42:25

How traumatic for you and your animals, I’m so sorry you lost your foals.
I’d report to the police and then get the vet to write their report to back it up as extra proof.
Inconsiderate bastard neighbours need to understand that their “making a point” caused animals severe distress and death as a result. Horrible.

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