Consider this: a jet fighter generates a sonic boom rated at a minimum of 140dB across a ground level coverage of 1.6 kilometres. A Maltese petard has a rating of 136.7dB with a footprint of 350 metres beneath it. A sonic boom may happen once; a continual barrage of petard blasts in Malta delivers these sonic booms at this decibel level for hour after hour, festa after festa, at night and on Sundays.

These two aerial phenomena, their decibel ratings and the audio impacts they impose at ground level must surely generate a fresh legislative appraisal of the devastating aerial cacophony and the appalling audio pollutant the petards deliver in Malta for all who have to suffer beneath it.

If national legislation refuses to acknowledge the civilian damage of local petards manufacture, I ask that this issue be placed before the European Commission for their consideration to eradicate these petards from our skies and our daily lives; notwithstanding the existing EU legislation for their manufacturing compliance.

If enough energy and focus can be summoned to have an EU directive, surely the necessary wherewithal can be found to legislate for the banning of these deafening bomb blasts once and for all.

I am firmly in favour of the benign fireworks for the traditional Roman Catholic festival. However, Maltese petards are not fireworks. They are bombs. Nor do they carry the charm or the artistry of a firework. I contend that Maltese petards have no place in Roman Catholic celebrations in Malta. The Maltese Church and the village churches condone this anti-social behaviour and its financing year in, year out.

Let us agree on the following motion: that all petard manufacture be abolished in Malta and Gozo for the peaceful well-being of all Maltese communities who have to live their daily lives beneath the continual sonic barrage of this rude audio pollutant and its selfish manufacturing practice.

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