Peter Whelan , the Aontú representative in Meath East has come up with a novel suggestion for parents thinking of buying fireworks for their kids this Halloween.

He advocates that as it is generally accepted dogs are terrified of fireworks parents buy dog food instead.

It is an unusual idea but could well work

He told Meath Live, ‘This time of year you will see kid’s gathering up pallets and tyres etc for bonfires for Halloween. This is also the time that fireworks start going off all over the country . These fireworks can cause terrible fear in the elderly , and also for dogs.‘I have a solution , in part anyway . I am calling on the parents of children who are being asked to travel up north and buy fireworks for them , to stop and think. This is a perfect opportunity for the parents to suggest to their kids that they instead buy two cans of dog food for their local dog shelter .

‘I’m in no way a kill joy and I think Halloween is a great time for kids and families. I just feel that it is also a perfect time to focus their children on the harm these fireworks cause to helpless animals .

‘I am not asking them not to celebrate the occasion but I am asking them to think of the poor dogs that will end up in dog shelters away from their families because they have been terrified by these continuous loud noises , which makes them so nervous they run to get away from them’ .

He goes on to explain his experience when he ran the Meath county council dog pound under contract at his farm in Slane .

‘When myself and my wife Susan ran the Meath dog pound , we hated Halloween. Not because we didn’t like it per se but because we knew and saw first hand the amount of stray dogs that would end up with us on these occasions.

‘It is starting earlier every year and I genuinely feel that if people saw first hand the fear in the eyes of these poor animals that they would think twice. My suggestion to buy two cans of dog food or a bag of dog food for their local dog pound or shelter, it will be a gesture and it will focus the parents and children into a discussion at the least. It will create an awareness of the terror brought to these poor creatures.

‘A lot of these families will have a pet themselves and hopefully will empathise with this issue of fear in the dogs I hope this suggestion of mine and its conversation will help in some small way .’