Ban on fireworks in Switzerland proposed by anti-noise league

Ban on fireworks in Switzerland proposed by anti-noise league

A new referendum has been launched to limit the use of fireworks in Switzerland. The proposal, submitted by anti-noise and dog advocacy groups, argues that personal fireworks scare children and animals, and should be restricted. 

Fireworks in Switzerland scare cats, dogs and children, advocates say

The “For a limitation of fireworks” initiative was launched on Tuesday by a wide selection of advocacy groups including the Swiss League Against Noise, the Swiss Cynological Society (Swiss Dog) and the bio-farming group Pro Natura.

In the text of the referendum, it states, "The joy of a few people should not harm the quality of life of all the others." Advocates note that firecrackers cause panic in small children as well as domestic animals like dogs and cats. They make the case that fireworks account for 2 percent of carbon emissions in Switzerland, with 300 tonnes of ash being released into the atmosphere each year by firework displays.

Instead of banning fireworks outright, advocates propose a compromise where fireworks would be allowed in Swiss cities on “events of supra-regional importance,” and even then, only the government would be able to use them. Some Swiss cantons already have strict laws as to when fireworks can be bought - restricting access to the lead up to National Day and New Year’s Eve - but no canton has banned the public from using them outright.

Many Swiss cities already forgo firework displays

In response, national councillor Jean-Luc Addor accused the referendum of trying to “prevent people from celebrating.” He claimed that Switzerland must be a happy country as we are the "one [country] who can afford the luxury of debating such things when not far from here a war threatens Europe and the world.”

Already, many councils in Switzerland are choosing to forgo fireworks, with one community in Daillens using the money saved to offer a brunch to all residents. The proposal now has 18 months to gather the 100.000 signatures required to make it to referendum.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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