CLA East is backing a new T-shirt that has been designed to raise awareness of the dangers sky lanterns pose to people, property, livestock and the environment.
This comes ahead of Chinese New Year tomorrow (Friday), when it is expected there will be an upsurge in use of the lanterns as part of the festivities.
The T-shirt was launched at LAMMA Show at the East of England Showground on Wednesday, 22 January by the CLA and Twitter-based farmers’ group #clubhectare. Produced by farmer Jono Dixon, co-founder of #clubhectare, it features a sky lantern in a red prohibited sign and a new hashtag for those wishing to show support on social media sites: #banskylanterns
CLA East recently called for local authorities to amend Entertainment License policy so new licences for certain venues or events can include a clause prohibiting the use of sky lanterns. The organisation has also called for this to be backed up by a ban on Council-owned land.
CLA Eastern Regional Director Nicola Currie said: “The CLA continues its work to obtain a ban on the use of sky lanterns and at the same time calls for the media to help in educating the public on the dangers of these lanterns.
“People need to realise, especially with Chinese New Year almost upon us, that if they release one of these lanterns into the sky they risk being responsible for the slow and very painful death of a cow or other grazing livestock, or a fire that destroys someone’s home, business or life.
“A report published last year on behalf of Defra that investigated the impact of sky lanterns on livestock and the environment estimated that between three and eight million sky lanterns are sold each year in the UK.
“With such a large amount of lanterns being purchased, and ultimately released, it is extremely likely the number of serious incidents caused by these flying bonfires is going to increase substantially.
“I’m hoping that the release of this T-shirt and the continued backing of our stance by farmers groups such as #clubhectare will help the CLA keep the dangers of sky lanterns firmly in the public eye and help us push for a ban.”
The T-shirts are to be sold at £6.75 each with 50p per sale being donated to charity RABI. The rest of the money will be used to cover production costs. To purchase one, contact Mr Dixon via Twitter using his @sunkfarmer handle – people can follow and then direct message him for more details.