Sky lanterns are beautiful, but with their pretty, glowing light as they drift off into the air comes a rather grave truth – they are terrible for nature.
These seemingly harmless sky lights are sold all over the world, with around 200,000 per year being sold in the UK alone. Their affect to animals is deadly, and this incredibly sad image of a beautiful barn owl trapped within a lanterns wire should be enough to stop anyone ever using them again.
Apart from harming animals in this way, they are also a massive fire hazard, if they land and are still burning, you can only imagine the catastrophic disasters they pose.
Other than the barn owl, the RSPCA also listed some other animals that died due to “Chinese lanterns”
- A foal had to be put to sleep after his legs were so badly injured from bolting through a fence having been terrified by a lantern.
- Holly, a nine-month-old goat died after the frame of a lantern punctured her throat.
- A farmer in Chester told how a cow died when the wire from a sky lantern punctured her esophagus after ingestion, saying ‘in effect she spent a long, painful 48 hours suffocating on her own feed.’
Many farmers have also confirmed and backed the claims set by the RSPCA.
NFU deputy president Minette Batters said: “I know from personal experience just how dangerous sky lanterns can be after losing a cow from my own herd which died after eating some fine wire from a lantern that landed on the farm – the post mortem examination revealed that this was the cause of death.
“But it’s important to point out that it’s not just farm animals which can be affected. Sky lanterns cause fires to crops, grassland on moors and bales of hay and straw that have been stacked, which can lead to a loss of buildings.”
She added: “It is really encouraging that local authorities are now starting to see sense and have banned the release of lanterns on their land. However, we would like to see many more follow suit.
“Members of the public can play a big part by writing to their local councils spelling out how dangerous sky lanterns can be.
“The public needs to back British farming and think twice before setting sky lanterns alight and releasing them into the environment. The NFU continues to call for an outright ban and we will continue to lobby government until action is taken.”
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