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Countryside campaigners call for action over Chinese lanterns after death of cows

Farmer Matt Knight with a Chinese lantern, next to some of his cattle, he has lost two cattle after they ate a straw bale which had wire in it from a Chinese lantern.

Farmer Matt Knight with a Chinese lantern, next to some of his cattle, he has lost two cattle after they ate a straw bale which had wire in it from a Chinese lantern.

A countryside campaign group is calling for action over Chinese lanterns after a Northamptonshire farmer blamed them for the death of two of his cows.

Matt Knight, who owns a farm near Walgrave, lost two of his Aberdeen Angus cattle two weeks ago after they suffered internal bleeding as a result of eating wire.

Mr Knight believes the wire came from a Chinese lantern that landed in one of his fields and was then combined, baled and later fed to the cattle.

Now CLA East is appealing for local authorities in Northamptonshire responsible for issuing entertainment licences to take action and prohibit the use of sky lanterns.

CLA East regional director, Nicola Currie, said: “Sky lanterns are serious fire hazards, they also endanger the lives of grazing livestock as well as other wildlife, and create unnecessary litter.

“Those releasing lanterns have no idea of the hazard they pose, nor do they consider the implications of releasing a naked flame with absolutely no control over where it will land.

“Lanterns that land in fields can get chopped up when farmers mow for silage or hay, resulting in fragments of wire in the forage. Cows, which naturally tend to chew things to check them out, get the wire trapped in their gut, resulting in an agonising, slow death for the animal.”

Ms Currie said councillors from The Vale of White Horse District Council in Oxfordshire have already taken note of growing public opinion, and have added a condition to their entertainment licence policy so new licences for a venue or an event now prohibit sky lanterns. This has been backed up by a ban on council-owned land.

CLA East is looking to collect evidence of damage caused by sky lanterns to take to Government. Those who have experienced problems caused by sky lanterns falling on their land should contact east@cla.org.uk, call 01638 590429, or address tweets to @CLAEast

 
 
 

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