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Bill would ban sale, use of fireworks in Wellington equestrian preserve

South Florida lawmaker seeks to protect horses from loud noises caused by fireworks
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Posted at 4:05 PM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 16:05:39-05

WELLINGTON, Fla. — A South Florida lawmaker has introduced legislation that would ban the sale and use of fireworks in the equestrian preserve of Wellington.

Florida Rep. Matt Willhite, D-Wellington, filed HB 979, which prohibits the sale and use of fireworks in the equestrian preserve "except under specified circumstances."

Willhite said horses are frightened by the loud noises caused by fireworks. He said the village, which was incorporated in 1995, receives numerous requests for assistance from residents concerned about their horses' safety.

"Wellington is a unique community, known for our equestrian sports," Willhite said in a statement Monday. "Every year, thousands travel to the winter equestrian capital of the world. These equestrian sports are an economic driver for the village. Because of Wellington's unique circumstances, it is crucial that this local bill be passed. Without it, Wellington will be unable to protect its equestrian citizens and their horses from the use of fireworks throughout the community on designated holidays."

The bill does not prohibit sanctioned displays, provided applications are submitted at least 15 days in advance.