Lantern ban in the offing?

Sky News today is reporting that there are moves afoot to ban “Chinese” Lanterns in the UK because of their potential “deadly impact”. Apparently, these lanterns can drift for miles and land on farmland, where their metal frames can be devoured by livestock:

Agriculture Minister Jim Paice has urged people to think twice about letting them off at celebrations this summer.
“Anyone who’s seen sky lanterns at night knows how spectacular they are, but they probably don’t know how they can cut a cow’s insides to ribbons and be devastating to the countryside.”

Unpleasant indeed, and a compelling argument for banning them rather than:

The lanterns have also caused the death of a foal, which was put down after injuring itself on a fence after being spooked by the mysterious floating light.

Which would also necessitate the banning of planes, cars and celestial bodies such as the spooky moon and the extremely environmentally unfriendly sun.
Also, did the foal (awww. baby horse. heartstrings tugged.) tell the farmer that it was spooked by the lantern? Or was this just a handy excuse for the insurance claim over this tragic equine incident involving some poor quality fencing?

the lanterns are frequently mistaken for UFOs as they drift across towns and cities.

If you think about it though, if the lanterns are airborne and people don’t recognise them as being lanterns, then they are, by definition, Unidentified Flying Objects. So there’s no actually mistaking involved at all.

But I digress. Often. The fire risk from these things along is surely reason enough to ban them – as they have already done in Germany, New Zealand, China [cue irony klaxon] and Australia (mind you, they recently banned swearing there too).

And, as ever, there are calls in the comments to ban fireworks as well, because they scare cats and dogs. Well, hard luck.
While “Chinese” Sky Lanterns may be a relatively new phenomenon in the UK, fireworks have been around for hundreds of years. And therefore, instead of getting all uppity when your pet gets scared by the bangs (one whole night a year), perhaps you should have thought about that at the time of purchase rather than complaining now.
It’s like buying a cat when you live near a busy road: and then whining about banning cars in case your cat gets run over.


If you should be feeling particularly creative here’s a great post on how to make your own sky lantern. Don’t let it land near any cows or float near any baby horses though, obviously.

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