February 8, 2017
Sky lanterns, commonly known as ‘Chinese lanterns’, present a significant danger to animals, and can cause injuries which lead to suffering and a slow, painful death.
Risks to animals include ingestion, entanglement and entrapment; whilst lanterns can also cause fire, destroy habitats or damage animal housing and feed.
Given this, RSPCA Cymru has long called for an outright ban on their use in Wales, backed by 59% of the public in Wales who support a ban*; and continues to highlight the availability of suitable alternatives.
A powerful coalition supports a ban on their use, including farming unions, landowners and animal welfare groups, demonstrating the strength of feeling which exists on this issue.
After the Welsh Government wrote to all Local Authorities in Wales urging them to implement a ban on Council-owned land, we launched a campaign encouraging them to do so.
On 7 February 2018 Merthyr Tydfil CBC became the final council to ban lantern releases on council land – officially making council land in Wales a #NoFlyZone for lanterns.
However, the best way to end the threat posed to wildlife, livestock and other animals by Sky Lanterns is for the Welsh Government to implement an outright ban in Wales.
*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,036 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19th-22nd August 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative (politically) of all Welsh adults (aged 18+).