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Chinese New Year revellers asked not to release deadly sky lanterns

Chinese New Year revellers have been asked not to release sky lanterns as part of festivities marking the Year of the Monkey.


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Sky lanterns pose a major risk to livestock and the environment
Sky lanterns pose a major risk to livestock and the environment

Chinese New Year revellers are being warned not to release sky lanterns as part of their celebrations due to the threat they pose to the countryside.

 

Each year thousands of sky lanterns, otherwise known as ‘Chinese lanterns’ are released at events across the country.

 

Their remnants are often found in farmers’ fields where the bamboo and metal components can be easily ingested by livestock or baled in hay and silage.

 

Why are sky lanterns such a menace? Read more here

 

As two weeks of celebrations kick off on Chinese New Year today (February 8), campaigners are pleading with event organisers and the general public not to release the lanterns as part of the festivities.

 

Organisations including the Womens Food and Farming Union, RSPCA and CLA have been working alongside Farmers Guardian to raise awareness of the damage the products can cause.

 

Video courtesy of the BBC

 

Farmer and WFU member Helen Bower said: “Sky lanterns, whilst considered by some to be bringer of good luck, peace and goodwill, do nothing of the sort.

 

“Death by fire, horrific injury and pollution of land and sea are the only consequences of releasing these flying fireballs.

 

“Do not be the bringer of this bad luck on anyone.”

 

Watch: The moment a sky lantern landed on a recycling plant, causing £6 million worth of damage.

 

Many local authorities and events organisations have implemented their own restrictions, however Farmers Guardian’s Say No to Sky Lanterns campaign, launched in 2013, calls for a country-wide ban on the sale and use of the deadly products.

 

In 2014 supermarket giant Tesco bowed to pressure from Farmers Guardian and announced it would remove the products from its shelves for good.

 

A number of UK councils have also banned the use of the lanterns on their land -

 

 


Read More

‘The risks are just too high’ - Major sky lantern festival causes farmer angst ‘The risks are just too high’ - Major sky lantern festival causes farmer angst
Angus Council imposes county-wide ban on deadly sky lanterns Angus Council imposes county-wide ban on deadly sky lanterns
Cornwall Council is latest to ban sky lanterns Cornwall Council is latest to ban sky lanterns
Evidence shows impact of sky lanterns Evidence shows impact of sky lanterns
Farmers accused of having ‘distorted’ view on sky lanterns Farmers accused of having ‘distorted’ view on sky lanterns


How do sky lanterns cause harm to animals and the countryside?

How do sky lanterns cause harm to animals and the countryside?
  • Livestock can be injured or killed from eating lantern parts accidentally chopped into animal feed during harvest, or getting caught in wire frames which have landed in fields.
  • Sharp parts they can tear and puncture an animal’s throat or stomach causing internal bleeding or death.
  • Animals can become entangled in fallen lantern frames and suffer from injury and stress struggling to get free, or starve to death.
  • Marine life is endangered by lanterns falling into the sea.
  • The remnants fall to the ground and become litter.
  • The lanterns, powered by an open flame, also pose a major fire risk.

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