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UK NFU calls for national ban on sky lanterns

Christian Fernsby |
The NFU has written to Environment Minister Rebecca Pow as part of a coalition of 18 farming, environment, animal and fire organisations to explain how the government’s approach to sky lanterns is now significantly out of date.

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The group is calling on the government to act now to make the use of sky lanterns illegal. The letter details how in other countries the release of sky lanterns is considered an environmental crime due to the harm they cause animals, habitats and the countryside.

This work forms part of the NFU's 2021 Levelling up rural Britain agenda, which is helping to create a safer, cleaner, greener rural Britain.

By enacting Section 140 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the Secretary of State can prohibit or restrict the importation, use, supply or storage of injurious substances or articles, such as sky lanterns. So far, 152 local councils have already banned the release of sky lanterns on council property but with no national legislation in place, the countryside and farms remain unprotected.

NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts, said: “The global community is already recognising the dangers of sky lanterns. Countries like Australia, Brazil and Germany already have national bans, and we must join them.

“This is a simple but incredibly effective and impactful step the government can take towards a safer, cleaner and greener rural Britain. We wouldn’t light a naked flame in our home and walk away, so why would we send one into the air with no idea whose home or habitat it could eventually destroy?”

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