While sky lanterns may be pretty they pose a serious danger of injury or even death to animals and now the RSPCA is pushing for a ban.
Sky lanterns (also known as Chinese lanterns) can harm wildlife, livestock and other animals by causing injuries that lead to suffering and a slow painful death.
The RSPCA is urging New Year partygoers to forego using sky lanterns and instead opt for more animal-friendly options.
David Bowles, director of communications for the RSPCA, commented:
“Sadly, many people are unaware of the potentially deadly consequences the release of sky lanterns can have for wildlife and other animals.
“Their sale has already been banned in countries such as Austria, Germany, and Malta and we would like to see local authorities up and down the country ban their use so this needless suffering can end.
“Sky lanterns – along with fireworks and balloons – may seem like innocent ways to celebrate the New Year, but if used carelessly they can terrify, injure and kill all animals – wildlife, livestock and pets.
“I think most people who saw the kind of injuries or fatalities we have would think twice. Cattle have died after bits of sky lanterns have fallen into their feed, baby birds abandoned after their parents are spooked by a fireworks explosion and scraps of balloons landing in a field could be eaten by any animal from a horse to a pet dog with fatal consequences.
“There are so many ways that people can have fun on New Year’s Eve which will not cause problems for animals, and sometimes the extra thought and care can end up making the event even more special.”
Anyone who would like to take action and urge their local authority to join the growing list of councils that have banned their release should visit http://bit.ly/1vmsowx