To the editor:

Officials in Massachusetts are right to look into solutions regarding the use of fireworks, which are illegal there for many reasons.

The National Fire Protection Association found that in 2018 fireworks were responsible for about 19,500 fires including in vehicles, homes and in nature.

They caused multiple injuries, five deaths and at least $105 million in property damage.

The explosions can be upsetting for veterans, seniors, children and everyone who is sensitive to loud noises.

And fireworks have proved deadly for animal companions and wildlife.

Scared dogs have broken chains, jumped fences, torn through screen doors and leapt through glass windows in an attempt to escape the noise. Terrified cats have bolted as well, causing animal shelters to report an increase in lost animals in the days following fireworks displays.

Startled deer and other animals run into roadways. Birds flee their nests, abandoning their chicks.

In Arkansas, 5,000 birds died during one show that caused red-winged blackbirds and European starlings to take off in panicked flight. The night-blind birds crashed into houses, signs and other obstacles, causing blunt-force trauma and death.

PETA encourages all cities to switch to laser light shows, which are safer, more humane, and less expensive than fireworks, while still providing a wow-worthy experience for spectators.

Michelle Kretzer

The PETA Foundation

Norfolk, Virginia

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