Over 200,000 sky lanterns (also known as Chinese lanterns) are sold in the UK each year. However most people have no idea of the harmful and often deadly consequences the release of sky lanterns 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.
Sky lanterns in 2019
7 February 2018 marked the success of the final Welsh local council banning the use of sky lanterns on their land. England still have a way to go and although a number of local councils have already banned the use of sky lanterns, we'd like to see the others follow suit.
In early 2019 we'll be asking for your support to help ban sky lanterns, you can subscribe to our campaign emails to be notified when the new campaign is live.