Sky lanterns have been banned across all public land in Wales.
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council (CBC) became the final local authority in Wales to ban the release of sky lanterns on its land yesterday (7 February).
RSPCA Cymru, which has lobbied for the ban, welcomed the news.
“This has been long-fought and tireless campaign,” said RSPCA campaigns assistant Charlie Skinner.
“We’re delighted that Merthyr council’s action means all 22 local authorities across the country have now acted on the real danger posed by sky lanterns.
“These devices can have deadly consequences for pets, farm and wild animals — it’s a huge step forward for animal welfare that these restrictions now exist in all corners of our nation.”
He added the charity is “hugely grateful” to its supporters.
Sky lanterns and balloons pose serious dangers to horses, property, farm animals and wildlife.
H&H has covered a number of incidents of horses’ suffering severe burns or ingesting wire or string from balloons or lanterns.
Members of Merthyr Tydfil CBC unanimously approved a voluntary ban of the release of sky lanterns and balloons from council-owned land and property.
The ban comes into force with immediate effect.
Cllr Howard Barrett, the council’s cabinet member for neighbourhood services, planning and countryside, said he was pleased with the decision.
“The debris of sky lanterns and balloons present a significant risk to animals, crops, moorland, property and the natural environment,” he said.
“One of our environmental wellbeing objectives is that communities protect, enhance and promote our natural environment and countryside and the introduction of this ban most certainly supports this.”
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The RSPCA is now focusing on lobbying the Welsh government to introduce a countrywide ban on releasing the objects on private land.
“With local authorities across Wales making such a clear statement, following this RSPCA campaign, the ball is now back in the Welsh government’s court,” said Mr Skinner.
Jemma Bere, of environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy, added he is “delighted” councils in Wales have recognised the dangers of these objects and introduced bans.
“But there is more work to do if Wales is to become the first airborne litter-free nation in the UK,” he said.
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