CLA demands Chinese lanterns ban

28 October 2013

 The Association says that the recent blaze at the Smethwick plastics recycling plant was an accident waiting to happen. Authorities say the blaze was caused by a burning sky lantern, leaving 11 firefighters injured as well as causing £6M of damage.

CLA Midlands Rural Adviser Donna Tavernor said: "We have been asking people not to use sky lanterns since 2009, when we were alerted by members who had livestock killed by ingesting the metal frames. As their popularity grew, so did the number of incidents of suffering and distress to livestock and damage to property by fire.

"Despite attempts by the industry to promote lanterns as 'biodegradable' or 'environmentally-friendly', any arguments that lanterns could be used responsibly went up in smoke this week.

"The concept of launching a naked flame into the night sky over which you have no control, is reckless. Chinese lanterns represent a wholly unnecessary risk to property, woodland, crops, moorland and livestock and it is only a matter of time before we see a lantern related death, as happened in Germany.

"There is no doubt that a ban is in the public interest. Other countries have seen fit to ban them, and it is high time this Government followed suit.