Concerned farmers bid to end lantern threat to livestock

People are being asked not to release sky lanterns at firework and Bonfire Night events. Photo credi

People are being asked not to release sky lanterns at firework and Bonfire Night events. Photo creditBen Birchall/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Local authorities, community groups, and private individuals staging Bonfire Night events in Suffolk are being urged by CLA East to not include the release of sky lanterns in their displays.

The organisation, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, is also asking organisers to consider banning the lanterns (pictured) from their venues too, in order to prevent spectators from releasing them.

CLA East regional director Ben Underwood said: “While Bonfire Night offers a chance for people to enjoy themselves at one of the many organised displays across the county, we would like them to do this without releasing sky lanterns.

“The fire risk associated with these lanterns is significant, posing a threat to homes, businesses and lives in both urban and rural areas.

“Even after it has finished flaming, the fuel cell of a lantern can register a spot temperature of over 200°C – and even after two minutes it can be around the 100°C mark.


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“Lanterns landing or crossing fields can panic livestock, but the biggest concern to farmers is that their animals can suffer a slow, agonising death if they ingest debris from spent lanterns.

“On top of this, they also pose a risk to aviation, and coastal rescue services have been wrongly deployed because lit lanterns have been wrongly identified as distress flares when drifting near the sea. The CLA has been campaigning for a total ban for over two years, and will continue to do so for the sake of farming, wildlife, the environment, and property owners.”

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The Civil Aviation Authority documented 40 reported incidents between 2001 and 2012 due to sky lanterns.

An report on behalf of Defra in 2013 found

lanterns posed a safety risk to aircraft because of possible ingestion into engines, while it also concluded that sky lanterns pose a significant risk to coastal rescue services.

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