Government guidance warns revellers against sky lanterns
THE Government has stepped in to warn people not to use sky lanterns due to their effects on livestock and the countryside.
The warning issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government comes ahead of Bonfire Night when revellers have traditionally let off the dangerous products.
Guidance published on the Department’s website said: “We recommend that you do not use sky lanterns as you have no control over them once they’ve been set off.
They can kill animals, litter the countryside and start fires. If you do choose to set them off, always follow the manufacturers’ guidance/instructions carefully.”
Campaigners including the Women’s Food and Farming Union and the CLA welcomed the move as a step forward but urged the Government to press ahead with a full ban.
“It is very good news that the Government is now properly starting to recognise the dangers of Sky lanterns and we hope that eventually this will lead to an outright ban,” said Nicola Currie CLA Eastern regional director.
The WFU’s lead on sy lanterns, Helen Bower, added: “WFU would like to see a more positive stance taken, and an immediate ban imposed. Otherwise this warning is going to be repeated every Christmas, New Year, wedding and party season, Halloween and Bonfire Night – increasing beaurocracy and risk of accident.”
Farmers Guardian has been campaigning for sky lanterns to be made illegal with its Say No to Sky Lanterns initiative.
The products are already either illegal or have restricted use in a number of countries including Spain, the Netherlands, Finland, Germany, Austria and Malta.
Earlier this year supermarket giant Tesco bowed to pressure from Farmers Guardian and announced it would remove the products from its shelves for good.
A number of UK councils have also banned the use of the lanterns on their land – the latest being Carmarthenshire Council last week.
Earlier this month National Parks England stated there was ‘increasing concern about the use of sky lanterns and their potential impacts on the countryside’ saying the risk to livestock was a serious concern as livestock farming was ‘the key to the fabric of many national parks’.
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