NFU Scotland wants to see Chinese lanterns banned

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Eight Scottish local authorities have banned the use of Chinese lanterns because of the risk they pose to crops and livestock, but Scottish Borders Council has no plans to implement such a ban.

NFU Scotland is writing to them and all Scottish local authorities who don’t have a ban in place, urging them to consider doing so for Chinese lanterns and helium balloons.

NFU Scotland’s Penny Johnston said: “Sky lanterns are seemingly innocent devices, but they can cause untold damage as there is no control over where these burning structures of paper, metal and wood will land.

“Across the UK, there have been many reports of fires started by lanterns and harm to the health of livestock when lanterns have landed in farmers’ fields and been eaten.

“There is a further risk to stock when grass is cut and ensiled for winter feed, and the wire is chopped up and subsequently contained in hay.”

“We applaud the action already taken against sky lanterns by eight local authorities in Scotland and we urge other councils to take their responsibilities as seriously. We also ask members of the public to avoid the use of lanterns, and to understand the risks that these can pose.”