Sunday, April 18, 2021

NFU steps up call for lantern ban

October 28, 2011 by  
Filed under News & Business

FARM leaders have repeated their call for a ban on sky lanterns ahead of Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night.

Although the flying lanterns are attractive and fun, they can kill and injure animals and wildlife, cause fires and litter the countryside, said an NFU spokeswoman.

“Pumpkins are great value and they’re widely available in farm shops and supermarkets now. Chinese lanterns may look pretty but they can cause chaos when they land on farms.”

The problem with Chinese lanterns is that farm animals, particularly cattle, can accidentally eat their wire frames, suffering a slow and agonising death. Animals can also be injured when they get entangled in the wire or bamboo-frames.

“Our members frequently report Chinese lanterns landing alight in farmyards and the NFU is concerned that valuable stocks of winter animal feed could go up in smoke. And they are a litter nuisance.”

The NFU is also concerned about the bamboo frame used in the construction of most “biodegradable” lanterns, which are durable and prone to splintering. It reports similar problems to those found with metal wires.

Union leaders have been campaigning the lanterns to be banned because of the dangers they cause. Chinese lanterns have already been banned in countries including Germany, Australia and parts of New Zealand.

The NFU continues to provide evidence of the problem to the government. Farm minister Jim Paice MP made a plea during the summer for people to choose a different way of celebrating at events.

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