With just over two weeks to go until Bonfire Night, Sainsbury’s have confirmed they will once again ban the sale of fireworks this year at all its 2,300 stores across the country.

Sainsbury’s first made the decision to ban fireworks in 2019; the move came as there were concerns from charities that fireworks cause unnecessary and avoidable distress for pets and wildlife. This marks the third year that the supermarket has not sold fireworks.

A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said: “Fireworks are no longer available in our stores, but customers can continue to choose from a range of seasonal products, such as glow sticks and light up spinning wands.”

The move to put animal welfare first has been applauded by many, with a spokesperson for the Dogs Trust saying: “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.”

The RSPCA have tweeted that an estimated 45% of dogs in the UK show signs of fear when they hear fireworks and over the last 5 years, the RSPCA have had 1,621 calls about fireworks and their effect on animals. In 2018, the PDSA found that 40% of owners of cats and dogs report that their pet is afraid of fireworks. Animals’ senses are much more sensitive than ours, meaning that the fear of fireworks is common in pets.

Some have said that just having one supermarket ban fireworks is not enough, and that the government should restrict the use of fireworks to professionals, like countries such as Ireland and Chile. Currently, UK law states that only adults can purchase category 2 and 3 fireworks, while only professionals are allowed to use category 4 fireworks. Fireworks cannot be set off between 11pm and 7am, except on Bonfire Night when the cut-off is midnight. On New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, the cut-off is 1am.

Calls have been made for other supermarkets to follow in Sainsbury’s footsteps and many other supermarket chains have issued statements on their stance on fireworks.

While Co-op have not sold fireworks for the past five years, Asda is one supermarket which has made a change in their stock. A spokesperson for Asda said: “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.”

Meanwhile, Tesco have confirmed that they will continue to sell fireworks. As for Aldi, a spokesperson has said that Aldi, “understands the importance of animal welfare when celebrating 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.”

However, it is unlikely that the government or other major supermarkets will ban fireworks in the near future.