MP calls on Wrexham Council to ban sky lanterns

Susan Elan Jones MP has called on Wrexham County Borough Council to ban sky lanterns (sometimes known as ‘Chinese lanterns’) from being released in a letter to the Council’s Chief Executive.

The Clwyd South Labour MP’s call comes after confirmation that 16 out of Wales’ 22 Councils have now enforced a ban.

Susan Elan Jones MP said: “Sky lanterns cause huge problems in terms of animal welfare. I think it’s high time that Wrexham Council joined the majority of councils in Wales in banning them.

“The lanterns are really dangerous in that they can be eaten by animals and can sometimes entrap animals. They are also a total menace when they land on farms as they can cause serious fires.

“I appreciate it is now election campaign season for the Council, but as soon as the new administration has been voted in in May, it’s vital that Wrexham enforces a ban.”
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Notes:

- more than 50 UK local authorities have agreed to ban sky lantern releases on their land

- over 200,000 sky lanterns (also known as Chinese lanterns) are sold in the UK each year (RSPCA figures)

- Taken from RSPCA Report:
“Here are just a handful of reported incidents:
• A foal had to be put to sleep after his legs were so badly injured from bolting through a fence having been terrified by a lantern.
• Holly, a nine-month-old goat died after the frame of a lantern punctured her throat.
• A farmer in Chester told how a cow died when the wire from a sky lantern punctured her oesophagus after ingestion, saying “in effect she spent a long, painful 48 hours suffocating on her own feed.”
• A barn owl died having become entangled in a lantern frame”.