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Farmers welcome Tescos sky lantern ban

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: February 04, 2014

By Robin Scott

Sky Lanterns
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A SUPERMARKET giant’s decision to stop selling sky lanterns has been welcomed by the farming community.

Tesco announced last week it would not be restocking its shelves with the party accessories, following a lengthy campaign for an outright ban by organisations including the NFU, CLA and the Farmers Guardian.

Tom Hind, Agriculture Director at Tesco said: “We have listened to the feedback from customers and other groups including the farming community, and we think the right thing to do is to stop selling sky lanterns. We will not be sending any more stock to stores and any existing stock should be gone within a matter of weeks.”

The lanterns, which originate from China and float through the sky, have become increasingly popular in the UK at parties, weddings and commemorative events.

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But they pose fire risks to crops and buildings and danger to livestock if wires are consumed or find their way into hay or silage, the agricultural community has said.

CLA Midlands Rural Adviser Donna Tavernor, who has found lanterns in her own sheep field near Eccleshall, said: “Anyone who owns land or property, in town or countryside, should be delighted with the news that Tesco is the latest high profile retailer to act on public opinion by deciding to stop selling sky lanterns.

“The Say No to Sky Lanterns campaign has the support of the industry and many organisations including the CLA, who have been lobbying against these airborne incendiaries.

“The dangers to land, property and livestock are well documented, and until the UK follows other countries by putting a nationwide ban in place, voluntary self-regulation is to be welcomed.”

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