Chinese lanterns still a concern for Brindle farmers

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A farmer says he still has major concerns over Chinese lanterns despite new safety guidelines being introduced.

A code of conduct has recently been introduced by the Trading Standards Institute to help minimise the potential risk of the lanterns.

It is aimed at manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers.

The code will help provide surveillance authorities recognise the necessary checks, the types of warnings and help ensure the responsible sale of the products.

John Swann, of Huggarts Farm, Brindle, said: “The lanterns are a hazard to the live stock, fortunately none of mine have ever eaten any of the lanterns but I’ve picked hundreds up over the years.

“The issue has receded recently, I think any kind of service will be welcomed by the authorities, they are a nuisance. Releasing a lantern is just like throwing litter out, you have no control where it goes. But the code doesn’t stop people from buying certain lanterns online and that is a concern.”

The code has been supported by Brindle Parish Council.

David Metcalfe, vice-chairman of Brindle Parish Council, added:“We as a parish council are happy that a code of practice has been introduced, if the sellers adhere to it.

“The code will help the situation but it is just a code, if people listen to it the problem will be lessened, but it won’t just go away.

“One thing that proved to be a problem in our area was cattle eating the wired frames.

“After the cattle ate the wire they needed surgical intervention to remove the frames.