Flanders asks municipalities to ban fireworks on New Year's Eve

As the year is slowly coming to an end, Flemish Animal Welfare Minister Ben Weyts is asking local councils to impose a ban on setting off fireworks and other pyrotechnic materials on New Year's Eve.

New Year's celebrations often go hand in hand with setting off fireworks, but they can have harmful consequences for animals, as many of them are frightened by blinding flashes of light and loud bangs. Pasture animals stampede from them, break out and so often get injured, sometimes resulting in fatalities.

"Animal welfare takes precedence over fireworks fun," said Flemish Minister for Animal Welfare Ben Weyts. Therefore, he implemented the Fireworks Decree in 2019, which made setting off fireworks forbidden everywhere in Flanders, except in places and specific times for which a municipality could give permission.

However, the decree was challenged after which it was annulled by the Constitutional Court. To minimise animal suffering during the end-of-year celebrations, Weyts is now asking cities and municipalities to impose a temporary ban on New Year's Eve.

"As a civilised society, we have a duty to avoid avoidable animal suffering," he said. "We therefore trust that the cities and municipalities want to do their bit to this end."


#FlandersNewsService | Firework at the Antwerp Schelde river during on New Year's Eve in 2008 © BELGA PHOTO JORGE DIRKX

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.

About belganewsagency.eu

Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels