MILTON, Ga. — A national organization is focusing on Georgia's fireworks law after a donkey's death during the July 4th holiday.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) announced on Wednesday that it had sent a letter to Georgia House Speaker David Ralston regarding loud fireworks and their impacts on sensitive animals. The move comes after the death of Sammy the miniature donkey in Milton.
As a result of the death, which PETA said was "likely of fright," the organization is calling for "safe and sane" fireworks that don't sound like "bombs bursting in air."
“Animals panic, become separated from their guardians, and even die because of these World War II–type explosions, so we’re asking lawmakers to enact common-sense fireworks legislation,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement.
PETA said changing the law regarding fireworks in Georgia would also protect noise-sensitive wildlife, children, veterans and elderly people.
The organization is asking the state to enact "Sammy's Law" - named in honor of the donkey that died - to keep similar situations happening in the future.
"States such as Florida, Maryland, and Virginia allow the use of only safe and sane fireworks, which are non-explosive and non-aerial," the letter to Speaker Ralston said.
PETA said it also sent letters to Gov. Brian Kemp and Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert.
The legal sale of fireworks in Georgia - aside from basic sparkler-like devices - is relatively new in Georgia. Having been legalized in 2015, the state has since given local municipalities the ability to regulate the use of fireworks, including when they can be used and what holidays allow for later celebration.
Since that time, animal - and veterans - groups routinely post around holidays to ask the public to be mindful of the explosions.
"The stress caused by fireworks is not limited to animals," PETA's letter said. "Veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder are sensitive to and can be deeply disturbed by the noise of the explosives."
PETA's proposal appears to suggest pushing Georgia back to its pre-2015 law that banned explosives or anything that shot into the air.
The Georgia General Assembly won't convene again until January, though prefiling begins in November.