Most people who release Chinese sky lanterns have no idea of the harmful and even deadly consequences they can have for animals.
Lanterns can cause suffering to animals in a number of ways. Animals have accidentally eaten fallen lantern wire parts which can cause internal bleeding, leading to a slow painful death. Other animals have become entangled in the wire or bamboo frames and injured themselves as they struggle for freedom.
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 Chinese lantern.
- An East Sussex farmer found a calf being choked by a Chinese 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 Chinese lantern punctured her oesophagus after ingestion, saying “in effect [she] spent a long, painful 48 hours suffocating on her own feed.”
The RSPCA and many other organisations including the Marine Conservation Society, Women’s Food and Farming Union (WFU), Soil Association, the National Sheep Association and National Farmers Union (NFU) are calling for a ban on Chinese lanterns.
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