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Suffolk: Lantern plea ahead of Chinese New Year

09:38 31 January 2014

Jonny Fuller with some of his Long Horns at Spinney Abbey Farm Wicken, between Newmarket and Ely

Jonny Fuller with some of his Long Horns at Spinney Abbey Farm Wicken, between Newmarket and Ely

Archant

Farmers and union leaders have repeated their call for a ban on sky lanterns ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations.

Lanterns are traditionally released on January 31 as a symbol of good luck. But farmers and key groups including The NFU and Marine Conservation Society (MCS) have urged people to find other ways to celebrate to avoid harming property, livestock and wildlife.

The release of lanterns was blamed for a huge fire at a recycling depot in the west Midlands last year and cattle have died from ingesting the fine wire that can get chopped with grass and end up in silage.

Jonny Fuller, who keeps a herd of 100 longhorns at Spinney Abbey Farm at Wicken, near Newmarket, supports a ban. One of his cows died three weeks after giving birth, after ingesting what is thought to be a sky lantern.

He said: “We had a couple on land we rented. We had a cow push a calf out about six weeks early and then it turned really funny with us. A couple of weeks later she dropped down dead.

“When the knackerman came I said ‘Let me know if you find what killed it’. He phoned up later to say they had found wire.”

The 35-year-old said the impact on small farms could be devastating. He added: “People don’t think about it. They think it’s up in the sky and it’s disappeared forever.”

A spokeswoman for the MCS said balloons and sky lanterns were “dangerous pieces of litter” that are increasingly being mistaken for marine distress flares and posing a threat of entanglement and ingestion.

3 comments

  • Waspie's wife...I can't undestand how these lanterns get past health and safety.I listened to an item about them being mistaken for flares, and causing unecceassary call outs., as well as the hurt they cause animals. I agree with banning them. They are not part of our tradition and support the call for a ban.

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Saturday, February 1, 2014

  • Totally agree pc plod. Get the star to start a ban them campaign ( not that they will) they do SO much harm and damage. It could almost be classed as intent of arson with intent to endanger life.. For anyone that buys these stupid things.

    Report this comment

    Mr cynical

    Friday, January 31, 2014

  • Those things are absolutely lethal and only a complete moron would consider setting light to something and launching it into the sky, especially when the wire will remain wherever it lands, just waiting to be ingested by a farm animal.

    Report this comment

    PC Plod

    Friday, January 31, 2014

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