Sainsbury's bans sale of fireworks amid animal safety concerns
By Abbianca Makoni, PA
Sainsbury's has become the first major British retailer to ban fireworks following concerns for pet safety, three weeks before Bonfire Night.
The retailer, which first opened 150 years ago, confirmed it will stop selling the products across all 2,300 of their stores this year.
But other major shops are keeping fireworks on their shelves and instead selling "silent" versions or including safety advice to protect animals.
A Sainsbury's spokesperson said: "We regularly review the products available in our stores and we are no longer selling fireworks based on a range of factors.
"Customers can continue to choose from a range of seasonal products, such as glow sticks and light-up spinning wands."
Dogs Trust, a charity focusing on the welfare of dogs congratulated Sainsbury's on their decision and have encouraged others to do the same.
A spokesperson from the trust said: "Although they can look beautiful, fireworks can be very distressing for dogs when let off unexpectedly, and because they are so easily accessible all year-round, dog owners are on tenterhooks as to when their beloved pooch will next be frightened."
They added in order to reduce the distress caused to dogs they would like fireworks to be restricted to licensed public displays at certain times of the year or organised events - which are well publicised as they believe this will enable owners to take steps to prepare their dogs ahead of any fireworks events.
A spokesperson for Aldi said the retailer would continue to sell fireworks but that it "understands the importance of animal welfare when celebrating [with fireworks] which is why our sales materials include reminders that pets should be kept safe indoors along with advice on how to make them feel secure."
An Asda spokesperson added: "We know that many of our customers love fireworks, but we also know that some customers and their pets don't like the noise, which is why this year we have launched a collection of low noise fireworks so that everyone can still enjoy the show."
Tesco said it will continue to sell fireworks but Co-op said it has not sold them for the past five years and has no plans to bring them back.
Sainsbury's decision follows a survey that found the majority of people in Scotland supported a ban on the sale of fireworks to the public.
More than 16,000 people responded to a Scottish Government consultation on fireworks amid growing concerns about them being used irresponsibly and recklessly.
Some of those surveyed raised concerns about the devices being used in inappropriate places, such as back gardens in built-up areas and on streets, and about them being used as "weapons" against the emergency services.
Community Safety Minister Ash Denham said: "The results of our consultation and survey demonstrate overwhelming public support for a change in how fireworks are sold and used.
"While legislation on the sale of fireworks is reserved to Westminster, I will work with stakeholders to look at the powers we have to drive forward action to reduce the damage caused by fireworks misuse."