A twitter user caused outrage among farmers when he accused the industry of holding a ‘distorted view’ on sky lanterns and started a petition for local authorities to overturn bans.
Part-time beef and sheep farmer Adrian Clark, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, was quick to respond to the remark to promote the dangers of sky lanterns and encourage a nationwide ban – measures many councils and event organisers have already put in place.
But the tweet, sent by Night Sky Lanterns director Fabio Paduanelli, expected to reverse the trend with a plug for users to sign and send a pre-written letter to local authorities to discourage the ban and highlight what he called farmers’ ‘obsessed and biased intentions’ and ‘ignorant assumptions’.
Mr Clark said: “Either these people do not have an understanding of agriculture or they do, but have no care.
“I said I had no doubt the organisation was trying to make the lanterns safe but they are only as safe as the people using them.”
It came as Farmers Guardian encouraged the shutdown of a major sky lantern festival on rural land later this year with its Say No to Sky Lanterns campaign.
Mr Paduanelli slammed the decision and said the ‘ridiculous remarks’ of farming and animal welfare organisations were jeopardising the enjoyment of ‘all responsible people who enjoy sky lanterns’.
He added: “Where I stand is all about truth and fairness regarding propagandists who are offending all those like me who responsibly use sky lanterns.
“I can no longer stand those generalised and ignorant remarks, in particular when they clearly have no idea what they are talking about.”