The heartbroken owner of a pregnant horse which died after it got spooked by fireworks has urged people to think twice before letting them off.
Olivia Miller believes her mare Mango had a heart attack after a private display was put on near her field in West Kingsdown without prior notice.
She told KentOnline: “We didn’t know anything about it, it was a neighbour down the road that told us that they were letting off fireworks literally above our mare and foal field.
“We were told they lasted a while but the people that set them off said it was only 10 minutes - but it was too late for Mango.
“We found her in the field in the morning, it was awful.”
The incident is believed to have happened at around 8.20pm on Saturday (November 4).
Olivia explained if there’s no prior warning for people to move their horses they can spook and suffer heart attacks.
The 24-year-old added: “Things can also come down and hit animals, there’s a lot of dangers but it’s mainly the shock and stress it can cause to horses and obviously dogs and cats as well.
“If we’d have known we would’ve relocated all the horses to make sure they were somewhere else and safe and not near the fireworks.
“But, because of how close the fireworks were set off to our horses that’s what’s caused her death.”
Olivia, who lives near Maidstone, added: “I’ve had horses since I was four and never ever had this before. We’ve always had fireworks in the distance and never had an issue because they’ve never been that close to our animals.
“Our horses are normally good as gold, but being that close to fireworks is going to cause stress to even the bravest of them.”
Mango, who was nine, was six months pregnant and Olivia, who breeds horses, had her for nearly three years. She has 14 horses in total.
Heartbroken at the loss of her animal, the horse owner has now encouraged people to sign an online petition urging the government to ban the sale of fireworks to the general public.
So far more than 30,000 people have signed itand if it gets to 100,000 it will be considered for debate in Parliament.
On November 1, the government replied to the petition to say it has “no plans to ban the sale of fireworks to the public but continues to monitor the situation”.
It added: "We believe the majority of individuals use fireworks safely and appropriately.
“A number of animal welfare and veterinary organisations also provide advice and guidance to enable people to minimise the impacts of fireworks on animal welfare.
“We are working closely with these organisations to amplify this messaging in the run up to, and during, key dates when fireworks are commonly used.”
Meanwhile, Olivia has urged people planning on having private fireworks displays to give enough notice to the people around them.
She said: “If people are going to do it, they need to give anyone that’s local to them plenty of warning so they can relocate horses and make sure they’re there with them and that they’re safe.
“People shouldn’t have fireworks without informing anyone local to them. Luckily our other horses are okay and it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been, but it’s a horrible thing to have happened.
“Not only did we lose our mare but her unborn baby which is just utterly heartbreaking.”