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Prompted by sheep deaths, Aurora leaders plan temporary fireworks ban to protect livestock

The village of Aurora Board of Trustees plans impose a moratorium on fireworks so it can conduct more research over the summer before adopting a new law aimed at protecting animals affected by loud noises.

In a special meeting Thursday, the village approved a motion to consider a nine-month moratorium on fireworks displays. The decision followed a 45-minute discussion about regulating fireworks. The board hopes to introduce a formal resolution and vote on the moratorium at a special meeting Wednesday.

The issue was brought to the board’s attention last year by Margaret Flowers, owner of Trinity Farm in Ledyard, which breeds Icelandic and Shetland sheep, both rare in the United States. After what she described as an “excessive” fireworks display Wells College in October for its 150th anniversary celebration, she lost about 10 percent of her herd. She said seven of her sheep died as a direct result of the display. Two sheep were found dead the next day, and five more deaths followed soon after.

She was at Thursday’s meeting, where multiple board members said they felt a proposed fireworks law they were reviewing was overly complicated, to the point that people may not read and follow it.

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