GRAPHIC CONTENT: A duck left dying after fireworks were thought to have been shoved in its beak is further fuelling calls for a ban on the private sales of fireworks.
The young mallard duck had been dying for around two days according to SPCA Auckland whose inspectors found it alive in the parking lot of Middlemore Hospital on Monday with its beak destroyed from fireworks injuries.
SPCA Auckland chief executive Andrea Midgen said they were "completely horrified" at the case, which the organisation's veterinarians say was likely caused by fireworks having been placed in the duck's mouth.
“Recreational cruelty has no place in our society – we are disgusted that someone believes it is acceptable to treat any animal in this way."
"Terrible pain and suffering has been inflicted on an innocent duck and it is important that those responsible for this cruelty are held accountable so it doesn't happen again."
SPCA Auckland said in a statement the only option available to them was to euthanise the animal and end its suffering.
Midgen said the SPCA was in favour of a ban on the private sale of fireworks because of cases like this, which demonstrated the harm they could cause to animals.
"Our aim is to allow people to enjoy controlled public displays only, to avoid causing fear, injury and disruption for animals.”
The New Zealand Veterinary Association has also said it would be in favour of such a ban with chief veterinary officer Helen Beattie saying animals suffered injuries every year from private fireworks and many suffered psychological trauma from the displays.
"Despite human enjoyment, fireworks do not bring a welfare benefit to animals."
SPCA Auckland said it was investigating the incident and encouraged members of the public to call them on (09) 256 7300 with any tips or further information.