For millions of Americans, the Fourth of July means fireworks. But this year, cash-strapped municipalities, Jersey City among them, have canceled their annual displays. The administration says it saved $238,000 by canceling this year’s event, allowing it to put $100,000 towards other cultural events this summer.
But while some Chilltonians might be disappointed by the lack of fireworks this year, animal rights advocacy group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) welcomes the decision. In an email statement released today, PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman says that “fireworks displays are a nightmare for both domestic and wild animals.” Reiman explains that animals are terrified by the loud noises made by the explosives and wildlife is harmed by the smoke they produce. She points to the California coastal town of Gualala, where the fireworks display was banned in 2006 after a show caused nesting seabirds to flee their nests and abandon their chicks.
In a letter sent to city Cultural Affairs director Maryanne Kelleher, PETA suggests the city replace any future fireworks displays with laser-light shows, which they say are more cost-effective and do not create harmful noise and chemical pollution.
Kelleher could not be immediately reached for comment.
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