A planned fireworks display in the western Estonian town of Haapsalu Saturday night has been canceled, at the request of dog owners.
While Guy Fawkes night, generally not celebrated in Estonia in any case, has passed, a fireworks show was scheduled to take place, with the incendiaries to be launched from the roof of a shopping mall in the town marking an annual shopping day.
However, concerned dog owners highlighted the stress such displays can cause their pets, noting this could be an acquired fear.
"Whereas one year a dog might not be afraid of these loud bangs, the next year, they may be. This does not depend on the age, gender or size of an animal. It simply occurs in a way that cannot be foreseen," said Animal Protection Society of Estonia (Eesti Loomakaitse Selts) Lääne County head, and dog owner, Kaija Paalberg, speaking on ETV current affairs who Aktuaalne kaamera.
Raimond Lunev, head of a local consumer's association, which made the decision, said that while the town has a tradition of larger events ending with fireworks, societal attitudes towards pyrotechnics seem to be changing, and, given animal lovers' concerns, the decision was made to ditch the fireworks display this year.
Sales of fireworks in the mall and at at least one other outlet were also postponed to later in the year, but in time for the traditional New Year's Eve displays.
"We're not going to organize fireworks this year [for the shopping drive], but we will review it next year if there is disappointment," Lunev said.
"Since the trend seems to be towards fewer explosions, we won't start selling fireworks in stores before Christmas," he continued.
Editor: Andrew Whyte