Chinese Lanterns - update 19.06.11

posted Nov 8, 2010, 12:55 AM by A Standish   [ updated Jun 19, 2011, 1:29 AM ]
Guests at weddings, festivals and parties are being urged not to release Chinese sky lanterns this summer because of the damage they can do in the countryside. Farmers are urging revellers to stop releasing Chinese-style lanterns due to the catastrophic consequences they can have for land and livestock.

After a spate of deaths and injuries to livestock, as well as damage to fields, Agriculture Minister Jim Paice has spoken out. "Anyone who's seen sky lanterns at night knows how spectacular they are, but they probably don't know how they can cut a cow's insides to ribbons and be devastating to the countryside.

"I don't want to stop people's enjoyment but I urge everyone to think twice about the impact of a sky lantern after it leaves their hands, and to find another way to celebrate."

The National Farming Union (NFU) echoed Mr Paice's concerns, stating that the lanterns cause 'slow, agonising death' for animals.
All NARC club members are being asked to assist landowners by removing these objects from the fields and taking them home and disposing of them properly.

For farmers, the Chines lanterns are a cause for concern, on several counts,

1. The wire mount for the fuel cell has the potential to injure livestock if it contaminates pasture, cut silage or hay.

"If swallowed, the wire could puncture the stomach lining and cause extreme discomfort and in some cases could prove fatal. There's also a good chance that the wire part of the frame could get wrapped around an animal's foot and become embedded in the skin which would be terribly painful."

If farmers silage-make in any of these fields, this is all going to be chopped to pieces and end up in the silage to be fed to the cattle.

2. Arable farmers fear a standing crop being ignited by a lantern returning to the ground.

3. These lanterns could end up igniting barn roof material, as there is no control over where these things land.

Used since the 13th century to symbolise hope and good luck, Chinese flying lanterns seem to be the latest 'must-have' at stylish parties, festivals and private celebrations.