Morgan Tait

Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's consumer affairs reporter.

Horse's death reignites call to ban fireworks

Yesterday's incident was another warning about the danger of fireworks. Photo / Duncan Brown
Yesterday's incident was another warning about the danger of fireworks. Photo / Duncan Brown

A horse spooked by New Year's Eve fireworks in the Bay of Islands has died from a horrific leg injury.

The broodmare's death has orphaned a 10-day-old foal and reignited calls for fireworks to be made illegal.

Occupants of a Kaikohe property found the injured horse collapsed at the bottom of a hill early yesterday, with her foal crouching next to her.

It had lost a large amount of blood from a broken leg joint, said horse breeder Don Harrison.

Mr Harrison owned the stud that bred with the horse, and said the animal would have been in immense pain following midnight fireworks displays until its death about 6am yesterday.

The property overlooked the Kaikohe town centre where a number of fireworks were let off on New Year's Eve.

"Fireworks were booming flat out most of [Tuesday] night," he said. "These fireworks should be banned.

They are a ridiculous hazard for lots of animals, not only horses. They get absolutely terrified."

Bay of Islands SPCA animal welfare officer Wendy Locke was alerted yesterday morning to the incident, but the horse had died by the time she arrived.

"There were lots of fireworks for New Year's and the horse was obviously pretty stressed from the noise of it, and had been galloping around and we aren't sure if she's gone through a fence or what, but it was really not a good [injury].

"It was really sad turning up and seeing the leg like that and this little baby foal cuddled up with mum."

The foal was dehydrated, but had responded well after drinking milk from another mare, Ms Locke said.

Yesterday's incident was another warning about the danger of fireworks.

"Kaikohe was pretty rife with fireworks [on Tuesday night], over the back of the farm and out the front over the Kaikohe township," said Ms Locke.

"I don't support the private use and sale of fireworks to the public for reasons like this. All sorts of stock, horses in particular, can become highly stressed."

A Herald-DigiPoll survey published this week found 39.2 per cent of people want to ban the sale of fireworks, while 59.5 per cent are happy with the rules.

- NZ Herald

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