Chinese lanterns banned from Glastonbury Festival but fight goes on for UK ban
CHINESE lanterns will be banned from this month's Glastonbury Festival.
But a bid to get the lanterns banned across the UK has been unsuccessful.
Michael Eavis has joined with Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service to stress how dangerous the lanterns can be to livestock and property.
Mr Eavis said the sale of lanterns at the site had been banned for several years, but people still brought them with them.
He said he had two main concerns – the risk of the lanterns setting fire to rows of tents and the possibility of cattle digesting parts of lanterns with their winter fodder, resulting in a "slow and painful" death.
"I have had two cattle killed in this way at Worthy Farm," he added.
"The ban of the lanterns is for a reason. Hopefully this information will deter anyone from bringing them onto site this year."
But while the lanterns are banned on the Pilton site they will still be flying across the countryside.
MEP Julie Girling says she is hugely disappointed at the decision not to ban sky lanterns following a recent report highlighting their impact on livestock and the environment.
Defra chiefs have refused calls for a ban on the deadly sky lanterns because the risk of death and injury they pose to livestock is 'low'.
The independent report carried out for Defra and the Welsh Assembly Government by ADAS assessed the possible impact of sky lanterns and helium balloons on livestock and the environment.
It suggested throughout that sky lanterns pose a risk to aviation, the environment and a significant risk to costal rescue services.
Many cases from across the United Kingdom are highlighted including examples of sheep deaths, marine and costal litter and examples of fires caused by sky lanterns.
Mrs Girling said: "It seems this evidence is not enough as, according to the report, the risk of death and injury sky lanterns pose to livestock is 'low'.
"In other EU countries, this product has been either banned or removed from sale. The Spanish authorities have said uncontrolled sky lanterns posed a risk of burns and fire.
"We know of the very real risk they pose to wildlife, crops, the environment and human life, I was confident this review would lead to a ban of sky lanterns. However that is not the case.
"I will continue to push the UK Government to take action on the sale and use of sky lanterns."