The RSPCA Cymru has called to keep sky lanterns on the ground as we all #clapforourcarers.
I think it’s wonderful that we are all applauding the NHS staff and I am sure many of us are including everybody else who is keeping us safe at that time and who is doing the essential work society needs doing.
But the RSPCA emailed today to say there are reports which suggests that companies selling sky lanterns have suggested releasing these devices as part of the #clapforourcarers proceedings.
RSPCA Cymru has urged us all to keep these sky lanterns on the ground.
Sky lanterns (also known as Chinese lanterns) pose significant risk to people and animals and the countryside.
Two very good reasons NOT to use sky lanterns
First, sky lanterns/Chinese lanterns can kill
Sky lanterns are lifted into the air through an open flame heat source. These can be ingested by animals who may think they are food. Sharp parts of the lantern can tear and puncture and animal’s throat or stomach and cause internal bleeding.
Wildlife, pets, horses and farm animals can all suffer terrible injury, stress and even death as a result.
Fire destroys habitats. Goodness knows we are short enough of these as more land is turned over to human use. Fire can destroy wildlife habitats/homes. It can set fire to animal housing, set food and bedding alight.
This can also cause death to animals; it can destroy essential supplies for animals at a time when a lot of us are finding life hard enough as it is financially. It could even cause death to firefighters, who are under enough of a strain at the moment.
I don't know what it's like where you are, but here in Sussex we have had very little rain this month. . The ground is bone dry in a lot of places and with windy weather, the risk of a fire spreading fast increases.
This will destroy life, habitats, property and put a huge strain on emergency services.
Find out about the Marine Conservation Society's Don't Let Go campaign and how you can help
Dr Julia Wrathall, the RSPCA's chief scientific officer, said: "It is great that people are looking for ways to show their support for the NHS staff and other key workers at this challenging time - but it is so important people keep sky lanterns grounded.
"Lanterns may look pretty - but they're actually just pretty dangerous. They can be fatal to animals; destroying habitats, or posing a risk of ingestion, entanglement of entrapment as they return back to Earth.
"Every single local authority in Wales has already banned sky lanterns from being released on their land - highlighting just how dangerous these devices are considered to be.
A final thought...
If there’s one thing we must all do at the moment it’s to really think about our actions and consider their implications. Staying at home reduces the risk to everybody, unless it is absolutely essential that we go out. Reducing the possibility of more death and destruction at a time when people have enough to worry about is another.
Take a look at these resources
Alternatives to balloons and sky lanterns from the RSPCA
Get involved the RSPCA'scampaign to end sky litter #Endskylitter
Please keep safe, everyone. And let’s all #clapforthecarers and give them thanks. They care for people because they want to preserve life and help others. Setting off sky lanterns has the potentail to do completely the reverse.