Spain bans sky lanterns

THE UK Government remains under pressure to ban sky lanterns after the products were withdrawn from the Spanish market.

The Spanish authorities said the flying lanterns, a signal of good luck and hope, posed a risk of burns and fire because, after launching, they fly through the air without control.

It comes after record numbers of lanterns were found in fields by farmers across the UK following the New Year celebrations, rural insurer NFU Mutual reported.

Though there had been no damage attributed to lanterns over the festive period, Tim Price, rural affairs spokesman, urged farmers to check their land for the remains of lanterns while grass was short to avoid bamboo or wire being eaten by livestock in the spring or picked up by silage-making equipment.

A spokesman from NFU Brussels said: “The Spanish have found, as we have in the UK, that flying lanterns are a disaster waiting to happen. Over the past few years there have been numerous cases of crops and buildings catching alight in the UK causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

“The NFU has also received many reports of harm to livestock, and in some instances death, caused by cattle ingesting the metal wires contained within the lantern frames.

“The NFU continues to work towards a ban on lanterns but until this is achieved we remain committed to persuading people against releasing them.”

Readers' comments (2)

  • I lost a valuable young pedigree goat after she swallowed a short bit of wire from a lantern that got chopped up in the hay, she died a slow painful death as the wire lodged in her thoat and pierced the Aorta and she bled to death. They must be banned!

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  • Surely there is enough damming evidence to push for a fast ban of these wretched lanterns, yes in the meantime we need to persuade people not to use them but a ban is the only way to be sure.

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