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Sky Lanterns

Volume 506: debated on Monday 1 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what information his Department has collated on the risks posed by air-released Chinese lanterns for (a) grazing livestock and (b) ripening crops; and if he will make a statement. (318578)

DEFRA has made no formal assessment of the risks posed by air-released Chinese lanterns. However, we recognise there has been concern among farmers and livestock keepers about the effect of these lanterns on grazing livestock. Anecdotal evidence suggests that while few animals have been affected, the impacts can be severe.

We are not aware of evidence that Chinese lanterns have caused damage to ripening crops, but we appreciate concern over potential risks including fire, contamination, and litter.

We will be working with interested parties to consider how the risks may be mitigated.