Rome, December 27 - Animal rights group LAV said on Thursday that every year approximately 5,000 animals throughout Italy die from injuries and stress caused by loud noises and firecrackers set off during New Year's Eve celebrations. The group has published guidelines for protecting pets and launched an appeal for city officials to regulate the use of fireworks in the city limits. Explosions can cause domestic animals to "escape, flee into traffic or die from heart attacks," said LAV's Ilaria Innocenti. Not only are pets susceptible, but wild animals and bird are at risk of injury. LAV recommends that animals not be left outside in gardens or on balconies, especially not on a leash that puts them at risk of strangulation. The group also underlines the importance of making sure animals can be identified with a microchip or marked collar in case they escape. "If pets go into hiding, leave them where they are and don't disturb them," the group says. For elderly or ill pets, make sure to have the number of an emergency vet on hand.
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di Giovanni Pastore