How many of us are aware of the harmful – and deadly – impacts Chinese lanterns can have on animals?
Some animals eat accidentally the fallen lantern wire parts whilst others become entangled in the wire or bamboo frames and injure themselves as they struggle for freedom. These examples on the RSPCA web page Call for a ban on Chinese lanterns surprised, and saddened, me:
- a foal had to be put to sleep after his legs were injured so badly from bolting through a fence having been terrified by a Chinese lantern;
- an East Sussex farmer found a calf being choked by a Chinese lantern;
- Holly, a nine-month-old goat, died after the frame of a lantern punctured her throat; and
- a farmer in Chester told how a cow died when the wire from a Chinese lantern punctured her oesophagus after ingestion, saying “in effect [she] spent a long, painful 48 hours suffocating on her own feed.”
The RSPCA and other organisations – including the Marine Conservation Society, Women’s Food and Farming Union (WFU), Soil Association, the National Sheep Association, and National Farmers Union (NFU) – are calling for a ban on Chinese lanterns.