Judge hears arguments in trial to stop La Jolla fireworks display

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – An animal rights group is asking a judge to prevent a possible July 4 fireworks display over La Jolla Cove from happening.

In May, the League for the Protection and Rescue of Animals filed a legal complaint in an attempt to prevent Deborah Marengo and her group, the La Jolla Community Fireworks Foundation, from launching fireworks at La Jolla Cove on July 4. .

The complaint said the fireworks would harm newborn baby sea lions in the middle of calving season.

Attorney Bryan Pease, representing the Animal Protection and Rescue League, said that by staging the fireworks display at this specific location so close to the sea lions, Marengo and his group would be breaking the rules.

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“Animals are protected by federal law, so there is a process and we set it up for them, letting them know exactly what to do to start the fireworks in a way that would not cause harm. ‘impact or harm these marine mammals, and they refuse to go through the process, ”Pease said.

Lawyers for Marengo argued that the La Jolla Community Fireworks Foundation has what it takes to legally organize the fireworks show, adding that it is a community-funded event taking place for the past three decades.

Jim Heffner, one of his attorneys, said: “There should be evidence of harm after 33 times. But it is important that the evidence establishes that it is the same place, the same amount and the same duration. It’s a little, little show; 600 shells for 20-25 minutes.

Heffner said there was an economic impact to this as well, as many businesses in that community have already braced for additional foot traffic due to the fireworks show.

The judge said he needed more time to review the arguments and documents before making a decision.

The annual fireworks display was canceled last year due to the pandemic.

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