RSPCA Cymru is urging Local Authorities across Wales not to be “bad neighbours”, following news that a twelfth Local Authority has acted to ban the use of deadly sky lanterns on land which they control.
Further to RSPCA Cymru’s campaign on the issue, Ceredigion Council has now implemented a local ban on the release of the devices, in a move which will help protect animals based in the county, and surrounding areas.
Sky lanterns – often known as Chinese lanterns – can harm wildlife, livestock and other animals by causing injuries that lead to suffering and a slow painful death. A majority of Councils in Wales have now taken action.
RSPCA Cymru has long highlighted the dangers associated with the use of sky lanterns, and promotes the use of harmless alternatives which prevent injury, suffering and fatality of animals.
Martin Fidler Jones, RSPCA Cymru’s political campaigns manager, said: “Sky lanterns pose clear danger to animals. We’ve been delighted by the public’s response to our campaign to halt their use – and the results speak for themselves.
“They may look pretty – but they’re also pretty dangerous. Sadly, many people forget that, if they release a lantern, they have no control over where it lands, or the damage it can do.
“RSPCA Cymru commends Ceredigion Council on their recent action, which delivers an important message for animal welfare.
“We’re now urging the Local Authorities yet to take action to not be bad neighbours and act to ensure better protection of wildlife, farm and other animals all across Wales.”
Ceredigion Councillor Alun Williams, Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste and Carbon Management, said: “It’s understood that these lanterns are launched by people only wanting to have fun or create a memorable occasion. But there is clear evidence that they can cause real damage to livestock and wildlife and, most of all, the fire risk from them is very high, especially in the summer.
“We’ve listened to the calls from organisations like the RSPCA and the farming unions and Ceredigion has now joined a growing list of counties not allowing these lanterns to be launched from its land. We hope other landowners will follow our lead and the risk they pose can then be eradicated from the county.”
In October 2013 the Welsh Government wrote to Local Authorities encouraging them to introduce a voluntary ban.
Ceredigion Council follows Rhondda Cynon Taf, Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent, Gwynedd, Cardiff, Caerphilly, Carmarthenshire, Conwy, Neath Port Talbot and Pembrokeshire in taking action.
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