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UK/East Anglia: Chinese lanterns campaign lifts off

06:00 22 March 2014

Fire damage said to have been caused by a Chinese lantern landing in a Norfolk field

Fire damage said to have been caused by a Chinese lantern landing in a Norfolk field

Archant

A landowners’ group is hoping to form a cross-party coalition in favour of a ban on Chinese lanterns and secure a parliamentary debate on the issue.

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The CLA's Nicola Currie has been campaigning for a ban on Chinese or sky lanterns for some timeThe CLA's Nicola Currie has been campaigning for a ban on Chinese or sky lanterns for some time

CLA East regional director Nicola Currie met with Conservative MP Julian Sturdy, earlier this month to discuss the campaign.

CLA East has been pressing for the past two years for a ban on the sale and release of sky lanterns. Mr Sturdy, who has described sky lanterns as “flying death traps”, has already called on the Government to consider a ban.

“This was an extremely positive meeting, and presents us with an excellent opportunity to put the issue of sky lanterns back on the political agenda,” said Mrs Currie.

“Sky lanterns are serious fire hazards, and endanger the lives of grazing livestock as well as other wildlife.

“A report published last year on behalf of DEFRA that investigated the impact of sky lanterns on livestock and the environment estimated that between three and eight million sky lanterns are sold each year in the UK.

“With such a large amount of lanterns being purchased, and ultimately released, it is extremely likely the number of serious incidents caused by these flying bonfires is going to increase substantially unless legislation is put in place.”

Mr Sturdy said he was pleased to hear that retailers such as Tesco and Poundland have decided to withdraw the products from their shelves in response to the campaign.

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