Sky lanterns

Consumers are urged to think twice before setting off sky lanterns that are made with wire.

In February 2011 the BVA's Ethics and Welfare Group discussed the issues related to the increasing use of sky lanterns and their potential effect on the welfare of production and wild animals.

BVA position

BVA believes the public should consider that releasing sky lanterns and balloons into the air could have a detrimental effect on farm and wild animals and should purchase biodegradable lanterns instead of those containing wire.

BVA activity

In 2013 BVA contributed to an ADAS report for Defra and the Welsh Government which predominantly looked at the impact sky lanterns and helium balloons are having on the environment, livestock and crops.

The report concluded that sky lanterns and helium balloons do not represent a significant risk to animal health and welfare, though sky lanterns do pose a fire risk. Government currently does not have plans to ban the use of sky lanterns.

However Defra intends to work alongside sky lantern manufacturers to introduce clearer danger warnings on packaging and work with retailers and manufacturers to publish improved consumer guidance about how to use the lanterns responsibly.

Further information