Call for ban on sky lanterns which can kill animals and cause fires in Sussex

Sky lanterns
Sky lanterns

The Country Land Owner’s Association is urging local authorities, community groups and private individuals staging Bonfire Night displays in Sussex not to release sky lanterns.

The organisation is also asking event organisers to consider banning lanterns from their venues completely, in order to prevent spectators from releasing them.

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They say the sky lanterns, also known as Chinese lanterns, can result in the death of livestock and wild animals and endanger property.

Regional Director Michael Valenzia said: “While Bonfire Night offers a chance for people to enjoy themselves at one of the many organised displays across the region, we would urge them to do so without releasing sky lanterns.

“Releasing a naked flame with absolutely no control over where it will land is a serious threat to rural businesses, livestock, wildlife and the environment.

“There is simply no responsible way to use them. They can kill animals, litter the countryside and start fires.”

The CLA has been campaigning for a total ban for a number of years, and will continue to do so for the sake of farming, wildlife, the environment and property owners everywhere. More than 50 local authorities have so far implemented a ban.

Mr Valenzia added: “Animals could be injured or killed if they become trapped and entangled in debris, or if they eat items, causing choking and damage to internal organs.

“Lanterns also pose a significant danger to aviation traffic such as planes and helicopters.

“We would urge councils who have not yet introduced bans to give it serious consideration, and balance the decision in favour of the many who have to deal with the unintended consequences.

“There is enough littering and fly-tipping in the region without sky lanterns and balloons adding to the problem.”

For more information about the CLA and its work, visit www.cla.org.uk/your-area/south-east/regional-news and follow @CLASouthEast on Twitter.

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