With bonfire night fast approaching can we spare a thought for the animals.

Of course it’s easy to bring cats and dogs indoors for one evening but when the fireworks go on for days it’s nigh on impossible to manage and what about horses, sheep and cattle? How can anyone protect them from weeks of fear?

I don’t begrudge kids the chance to have a bonfire party but it’s got a little out of hand these past few years with fireworks loud enough to rattle the windows.

We could live with it for one weekend but that’s not the way it works any more.

We have sporadic outbursts for weeks and while we all know about fireworks, animals do not.

What I find strange about the whole thing is the absence of health and safety officers at a time when they have a real responsibility.

You’d think they would be all over this with unauthorised displays and enough casualties to fill a burns unit.

If conkers and snowballs are too dangerous for our kids to play with, how come explosives are acceptable?

And where are all those no-win, no-fee lawyers in November? If hanging baskets are too dangerous for public safety what about aerial bombs and flaming rockets plunging to earth?

We’re living in the compensation culture so where exactly does the sale of pyrotechnics to untrained operatives fit in? Surely retailers and manufacturers are vulnerable to huge claims?

Why not simply restrict the sale of fireworks to licensed events?

The kids get to party. Fire officers gain control and terrified animals get some relief.

Everyone’s a winner.

By Guardian columnist Vic Barlow