It has emerged that many people celebrating the New Year ignore municipal bylaws restricting the use of fireworks.

On Gauteng’s West Rand, three dogs were killed and more than 20 other pets reported missing following fireworks displays in residential areas over the New Year’s period.

The Johannesburg Metro Police has vowed to clamp down on those who discharged firecrackers outside of permitted times, or near hospitals, old age homes and animals.

A Roodepoort resident, who asked to be identified only as Judy, says it was anything but a peaceful start to the year.

“It was not a very good evening for me. The distress of the animals around me, it really brought me to tears. They can’t speak up for themselves and their natural reaction is to flee when disturbed and not only on animals but other people around them particularly the elderly. The loud bangs and it sounds like places are exploding. I just think something really needs to be done about that. Like just perhaps have the pretty lights that go up into the sky and the rockets that don’t make a noise.”