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Sky lanterns Banned From Radio 1’s Big Weekend to Ensure Safety of Animals

Festival goers were banned from entering Radio 1’s Big Weekend with sky lanterns and balloons.

A prohibited list of items was released before Radio 1’s Big Weekend was due to take place on 26th & 27th May. The list included balloons and sky lanterns which the RSPCA was more than happy to hear.

RSPCA wildlife expert Llewelyn Lowen said the decision to ban balloons and sky lanterns from the venue was “really positive news”.

“It was a cause for celebration recently when Wales’ council land became a no-fly zone for dangerous sky lanterns — so it’s great news to see Radio 1 reminding attendees of the Biggest Weekend not to bring them along,” he said.

Over 200,000 sky lanterns are sold each year in the UK. Although the lanterns are beautiful to look at, people have no idea of the harmful effects and deadly consequences a single sky lantern can have on an animal.

Many horses and various other animals have been seriously injured and even killed by these objects in the past, so it’s important that we try our best to prevent this from happening.

Animals may eat fallen pieces of the lanterns which can cause internal bleeding, and smaller animals may get caught up in the wire or bamboo frames used to structure the lanterns.

Previously reported incidents to the RSPCA include:

  • A foal had to be put to sleep after his legs were so badly injured from bolting through a fence having been terrified by a lantern.

  • Holly, a nine-month-old goat died after the frame of a lantern punctured her throat.

  • A farmer in Chester told how a cow died when the wire from a sky lantern punctured her esophagus after ingestion, saying “in effect she spent a long, painful 48 hours suffocating on her own feed.”

  • A barn owl died having become entangled in a lantern frame.

Radio 1’s Big Weekend is a huge event for the city of Swansea, therefore a great way to remind people of the dangers that come with letting off balloons and sky lanterns.