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SSPCA warns against sky lantern usage

The SSPCA has urged the public not to set off sky lanterns over concerns for the safety of pets and wildlife.

The animal welfare charity warned that sky lanterns are dangerous and can have a devastating impact on animals. 

The warning comes in light of a recent increase in sky lanterns usage in a show of support for NHS and healthcare workers on the frontline of the ongoing pandemic. 

The SSPCA said it has received reports where farm animals have been injured or killed by swallowing fragments from sky lanterns. 

The lanterns may also start fires, which can endanger wildlife and their habitats, whilst birds can collide and get entangled with the lanterns, making it impossible to fly and killing them.

Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “Sky lanterns put pets, wildlife and farm animals at risk of serious injury or even death.

“Lanterns pose a serious threat to all sorts of animals and once they land they become litter. Animals can be caught up in the debris and get trapped. Even if they escape, these animals can get hurt in the process of doing so.”

He added: “Every single person in the Scottish SPCA fully supports the NHS and recognises the incredible effort they are making just now. We have so much respect and admiration for them.

“There’s lots of ways people can support our phenomenal NHS at the moment and we’d urge everyone to celebrate it in a way which poses less risk to animals and the environment.”

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