The RSPCA are urging those celebrating the New Year to avoid releasing ‘deadly’ Chinese lanterns into the sky, putting animals at risk.
Over 200,000 Chinese lanterns are sold in the UK each year. However most people have no idea of the harmful and often deadly consequences they can have for animals.
Birds and wildlife can become entangled in the wire or bamboo frames leading to injury or death. Animals can accidentally eat fallen lantern parts which can cause internal bleeding, leading to a slow painful death.
Here are just a handful of reported incidents:
- A foal had to be put to sleep after his legs were so badly injured from bolting through a fence having been terrified by a lantern.
- Holly, a nine-month-old goat died after the frame of a lantern punctured her throat.
- A farmer in Chester told how a cow died when the wire from a sky lantern punctured her oesophagus after ingestion, saying “in effect she spent a long, painful 48 hours suffocating on her own feed.”
- A barn owl died having become entangled in a lantern frame.
“We’re pleased that a number of local councils have already banned the use of sky lanterns on all council owned land and we’d like to see other councils follow suit”, the RSPCA said.
Although, it is not believed that Swindon Borough Council have introduced the ban, and no one was available for comment at the time of publishing.