Speed Reading — Level 6 — 200 wpm

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Try the same text at a reading speed of 300 words per minute.

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A small town in Italy has passed legislation requiring people to use only silent fireworks in displays and celebrations. The new measure is to ensure the wellbeing of dogs and other pets. The town of Collecchio in the province of Parma has decided that the welfare of its pets is more important than the sound of explosions that normally accompanies fireworks. The more sensitive hearing of animals causes them to develop a condition known as 'acoustic stress' that follows sudden and loud noises. The sounds and smoke created by fireworks can cause additional health problems in animals. Vets commonly report cases of nausea, tremors and increased anxiety in animals after a fireworks show.

Awareness of the potential problems created by the sound of fireworks is growing in Europe. Over the New Year, Germany banned fireworks near refugee shelters to minimise trauma experienced by refugees who had just fled war zones. Fireworks are also known to cause problems for war veterans. The explosions bring back painful memories of being in areas of conflict and can trigger post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, not everyone agrees with the idea of silent fireworks. Antonio Maldini said: "You need the booms, cracks and thunder. It's an essential part of the fun." He advised pet owners to keep animals indoors and keep all windows firmly closed.

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