The chief veterinary officer for Wales has warned of the danger posed by the release of Chinese paper lanterns, following concerns for the safety of livestock and other animals.

The chief veterinary officer for Wales has warned of the danger posed by the release of Chinese paper lanterns, following concerns for the safety of livestock and other animals.

Christianne Glossop warned of the danger in response to reports received by the Welsh Assembly Government, which claim the release of such lanterns are causing stress and injury to farm animals.

Chinese paper lanterns are causing stress and injury to farm    animals to livestockComplainants are also concerned that the flame produced by these lanterns is a very real threat to buildings, structures and machinery, especially in rural areas. 

Dr Glossop said it was important that those considering releasing a Chinese lantern at an outdoor event or celebration should:

  • Consider whether the release of a Chinese lantern is appropriate;
  • Assess the likely impact that the lantern may have on its surroundings;
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions; and
  • Use a biodegradable lantern.

The Welsh Assembly Government also claimed it is advisable that the local authority or the fire service is contacted for a risk assessment on the location of launch and other advice.
 
Welsh CVO Christianne GlossopDr Glossop said: “The release of Chinese lanterns has become increasingly popular in recent years, but many people are unaware of the hidden dangers posed to farm animals and buildings.
 
“We are receiving an increasing number of reports from farmers, the farming unions and others of the damage that Chinese lanterns are causing. The reports include harm to livestock, and in some instances death, caused by cattle ingesting the metal wires contained within the lantern frames.

“I urge people to consider carefully the implications of releasing a lantern. They can and do pose a serious danger not only to livestock and other animals, but also to buildings and other structures.”

Incidents involving a Chinese lantern should be reported to the local Trading Standards office or one of the Farming Union Organisations.

Lantern image courtesy yinney
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