Fireworks law plea after startled dog is knocked down and killed

A woman whose dog was killed on the road after running from firework noise is calling for tighter restrictions on their use.

Fiona Longworth's dog, Sol, died after being hit by a car on Saturday.

The two-year-old rescue dog, originally from Spain, escaped his collar and ran on to the A1 near Dunbar, East Lothian.

Tighter regulations were already in force this year but Fiona and animal charities are calling for further controls.

Sol, a Galgo-collie, was being walked on the evening before Bonfire Night when a private family firework display caused him to panic.

Fiona, 47, said the noise was "unbelievable", causing Sol to slip his lead and bolt away from her.

"The thing with these displays is there's so many of them now. You never know what time they're going off," she said.

"It's not even just on fireworks day. This was the 4th obviously. They just go off everywhere all the time.

"I'm not saying everyone's irresponsible, I'm not. I just don't know why it has to be so much."

Fiona's mum put a post on Facebook in hope that someone would have found Sol.

A man later messaged her to say he had been found dead on the road.

"It helped to know he wasn't too scared for too long," said Fiona, who had rescued Sol when he was six months old.

"We buried him in the garden here, in his favourite spot. People have just been dropping flowers off.

"For a lot of people, they're just our babies, our companions, because life's hard enough. I just can't believe it."

Fiona would like people to put flyers in the area if they are hosting a private fireworks display, to warn locals and pet owners.

She also wants more restrictions on the sale of fireworks. In the UK, anyone over 18 can buy, carry or use category one, two and three fireworks.

"I'd like better regulations put in place," she said.

"And that we go back to a more organised and safe approach. It's absolutely tragic."

Sol's death came on a weekend of fireworks disorder in Scotland.

In Edinburgh, riot police were petrol bombed and eight officers suffered minor injuries on a night of "unprecedented levels of violence".

Fireworks ban

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) said nine crews were attacked during an eight-hour period across the country.

The Scottish SPCA has been in contact with Fiona, and supports her call for more restrictions.

The charity's director of innovation and strategic relations, Gilly Mendes Ferreira, said: "Each year we see the impact of fireworks first hand after the animals in our care become distressed and many display destructive behaviours due to the stress and fear caused.

"The Scottish government have introduced regulations to implement firework control zones across Scotland and we welcome this. The restrictions are much needed to prevent unnecessary suffering among pets, farm animals and wildlife.

"We would also support alternatives being used such as silent fireworks or the use of drones."

Scotland's Justice Secretary Angela Constance has said she is "open to discussion" about a ban on the sale of fireworks following this year's disorder.

She told BBC Scotland earlier this week: "I'm open minded about it. Open to discussion. It's not within our powers for an outright ban but open to discussion.

The Scottish government brought in a new law last year which heavily restricts the sale of fireworks and made it an offence to buy them for young people.