PET owners, members of the public and politicians in Inverclyde have united to demand a ban on the sale of fireworks.

As Guy Fawkes night on November 5 looms, local residents and animals are already under siege from a barrage of booms as anti-social louts set explosives off around the area.

Inverclyde's MP Ronnie Cowan is calling for an outright ban to protect animals.

Mr Cowan said: “As the Dogs Trust have informed me, fireworks - which can be loud, bright, unpredictable and difficult to escape from - can cause dogs immense stress and this has a negative impact on their welfare.

“The legislation on the sale of fireworks is reserved to Westminster, and if parliament were to ban selling fireworks to the public that would go a long way to improving the situation."

Figures obtained by the MP under freedom of information laws show that there are 10 premises in Inverclyde holding licences to sell fireworks this year.

Earlier this month, Sainsbury's become the first major supermarket to stop selling fireworks at its 2,300 stores across the UK, including Gourock and Inverkip.

Local pet owners say it is high time that the sale of the potentially dangerous explosives is outlawed.

Dog owner Robert Carrick, 76, told the Tele that his 13-year-old West Highland terrier, Ally, needs to be medicated every year just to get through the Guy Fawkes season.

He said: "The fireworks make him so nervous he has to have half of a prescribed diazepam tablet with his meals.

"Fireworks should be for organised public displays only.

"I know that maybe takes away some fun for young folk but there's far too many sales of fireworks, and they're getting louder and louder.

"My mother lived through the Greenock Blitz during the Second World War and she used to say to me that the fireworks made her think she was back there again.

"I live in Brisbane Street and when you hear some of these things exploding in the High Bow it feels like they're next door.

"It's not just the explosions, it's the screeching they make before the big bangs.

"Ally goes away and hides and I've got to go looking for him."

Neil McIntosh, of Abbey Vets in Murdieston Street, is supporting the call for a crackdown.

He said: "Nobody wants to ruin people's fun, but weeks on end of unplanned random bangs and unexpected explosions can be extremely traumatic for domestic pets and wild animals.

"For many it can cause real upset to the point where we need to prescribe sedatives or even beta blockers to help them cope.

"Animals can very quickly develop noise phobia, an excessive fear of a sound that will result in them attempting to avoid or escape from it.

"It's intense and can easily become a persistent issue that an animal will find very difficult to rid itself of, meaning even simply things like walks in the dark can bring serious apprehension and anxiety for fear of what might happen."

The leader of the SNP group on the council, Chris McEleny says people have had enough of fireworks causing misery and he has also joined calls for a blanket ban.

He said: “At this time each year I get inundated with reports of an increases in anti-social behaviour.

"When fireworks are readily available there are zero control measures to stop people setting them off next to people’s homes at all times of night.

“ I have also been concerned of the serious distress and occasional injury caused to animals.

"Although there are people capable of enjoying fireworks responsibly, what we are dealing with is effectively very low grade explosives which it seems absurd to sell publicly in a poorly controlled manner."

A Scottish Government consultation in February found that 94 per cent of people would like to see tighter controls on the sale of fireworks and an update is expected from ministers soon outlining their approach to the issue.

MP Mr Cowan said: “Ministers announced that an ‘action plan’ on fireworks would be announced by the end of October 2019 and I look forward to that report.”