Wildlife Trust Supports Call for Ban on Chinese Lanterns

Monday 1st July 2013

In the wake of the serious fire in Smethwick today, The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country supports the calls for a ban on the use of Chinese Lanterns.

These paper lanterns are often lit in celebration and left to float across the night sky, but while they may look pretty, they can be a severe risk to wildlife and a fire hazard, as the CCTV footage of the recycling plant suggests.

Neil Wyatt, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country explains:
“As well as industrial premises such as the one in Smethwick, where the pollution is plain for everyone to see, fires in heathland or grassland areas can be devastating to wildlife, as the fire spreads so quickly, killing nesting birds, rare reptiles and mammals that can’t outrun the flames.

“The lanterns are also a big problem for grazing cattle, as they often swallow the wire frame of the lanterns which then get stuck in the animal’s stomachs.

“Even if the lanterns do not cause a fire, once they burn out and land, they then become discarded litter, which can hang around for years. Please think about the consequences of releasing these lanterns; whilst they may momentarily light up your party they create a long term, potentially fatal threat to wildlife and farm animals.”

The advice from The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country is to enjoy your celebrations without using sky lanterns and look for alternatives such as large spectacular kites, sparklers and controlled ground lit candle displays.

The Wildlife Trust also supports the RSPCA’s petition to ban Chinese lanterns and encourages everyone to sign it: http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaigns/wildlife/chineselanterns.

Tagged with: Ban, Chinese lanterns, Smethwick fire

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