Torfaen County Borough Council has become the latest Local Authority in Wales to implement a ban on the use of sky lanterns on their land.
After discussions with RSPCA Cymru, the Council has taken moves to ban the objects, which can have deadly consequences for animals and their welfare.
Torfaen are the 16th Council in Wales to take this action – meaning a complete ban across Wales’ Local Authority land is a step closer. Sky lanterns can be ingested by animals, or cause entanglement or entrapment.
This can lead to animals suffering injury, stress or even death. They also pose danger as a fire hazard. An outright ban on their use across Wales remains the primary objective for RSPCA Cymru.
Paul Smith, RSPCA Cymru’s Public Affairs Manager, said: “It’s fantastic news that Torfaen Council has become the latest Local Authority to ban sky lanterns, and RSPCA Cymru was pleased to work closely with them to help achieve this.
“RSPCA Cymru is one of a wide coalition of organisations who are deeply concerned about the use of sky lanterns.
“Sadly, many people are not aware of how harmful they can be for animals – including birds, wildlife and farm animals. This move from Torfaen makes another important statement.
“An outright ban on sky lanterns – which can cause injury, suffering, and death to animals – remains our primary objective. We’d love to see the Welsh Government bringing forward proposals to achieve that in Wales.”
RSPCA Cymru continue to highlight to members of the public the availability of suitable alternatives to sky lanterns – with a full fact sheet available from the charity.
Mr Smith added: “Stationary candles, LED lanterns and outdoor lights all provide safe alternatives to deadly sky lanterns – and are great ways to celebrate without posing dangers to animals.”
The Leader of Torfaen Council, Cllr Anthony Hunt, said: “For some time we have recognised the dangers associated with the use of sky lanterns and have responded to the growing expectation for local authorities to ban the release of sky lanterns and massed balloons from council owned land and have asked our school governing bodies to adopt this policy.”
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