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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Cataño mayor reiterates fireworks ban during the holidays

Pets are considerably affected by the noise of explosives because their sense of hearing is sharper than that of humans, Cataño Mayor Julio Alicea Vasallo has pointed out.

By The Star Staff

Cataño Mayor Julio Alicea Vasallo reiterated Thursday the prohibition of the use of aerial and explosive pyrotechnics in the official activities of the municipality, as well as in the facilities under its jurisdiction.

He also urged citizens in general to limit the use of the explosives because of the damage they cause.

The prohibition was established last year through Executive Order 27, Series 2022-2023, in order to care for the common good of citizens, particularly children with autism, older adults, infants, people with post-traumatic stress, as well as pets.

Numerous studies have shown that people on the autism spectrum suffer from loud noise anxiety, because their brain functions are different. Likewise, the elderly, infants and people suffering from post-traumatic stress suffer emotionally from the roar of fireworks. In addition, pets are considerably affected by the noise of explosives because their sense of hearing is sharper than that of humans, and the particles emitted by pyrotechnics can be toxic to animals.

“We have established this ban for the sake of our most vulnerable citizens, as well as to protect and preserve the quality of life of our pets,” he said. “We want our families to spend these holidays in an atmosphere of peace and harmony, free from the harmful effects of excessive noise and explosions. Honestly, you don’t need them. We have already proven that you can have great events, full of joy and fun, without the hassle caused by pyrotechnics. May the greatest noise we generate be that of our joy for what we celebrate at Christmas.”

Act 83 of June 25, 1962, Puerto Rico’s Pyrotechnics Law, as amended, prohibits possessing, using, manufacturing or selling aerial or explosive pyrotechnics, including fireworks. The law establishes up to six months in jail and/or a $5,000 fine in cases where up to 10 units of pyrotechnic material are seized and more than six months in jail and a fine greater than $5,000 when more than 10 units are possessed. Similarly, Law 154 of 2008 defines animal abuse as any act or omission committed by a person, whether a guardian or not, that causes or puts an animal at risk of suffering harm to physical and/or emotional health.

Separately, Alicea Vasallo a day earlier filed his candidacy to continue as mayor of Cataño in the 2024 elections.

At an announcement event, Alicea Vasallo highlighted his accomplishments of the past two years.

“I humbly submit my work agenda and that of a task force committed to its people to achieve the most ambitious and far-reaching goals for our beloved Cataño,” the mayor added.

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