RCT Councillors Unanimously Vote For Sky Lantern Ban As No-fly Zone Reaches 50%

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RSPCA Cymru has welcomed the unanimous backing given byCouncillors in Rhondda Cynon Taf to a ban on the use of sky lanterns on LocalAuthority land.

Councillors voted in favour of the action at a full councilmeeting on Wednesday evening (June 24th), and also urged the Welsh Governmentto implement legislation restricting the use and sale of sky lanterns acrossWales.

The Notice of Motion debated by RCT Councillors showed clearsupport for RSPCA Cymru’s long-standing campaign on the issue, which sawsupporters of a ban across South Wales send messages of encouragement to theCouncil ahead of the vote. The move means that 11 of Wales’ 22 LocalAuthorities have acted on sky lantern releases – half of all Councils.

RSPCA Cymru has long highlighted the dangers associated with theuse of sky lanterns.

Sky lanterns – also known as Chinese lanterns – can harm wildlife,livestock and other animals by causing injuries that lead to suffering and aslow painful death. RSPCA Cymru strongly advises against their use andrecommends that harmless alternatives are sought to prevent injury, sufferingand fatality of animals.

Speaking outside the Council chamber after the vote, RSPCA Cymru’spublic affairs manager, Chris O’Brien, said: “Sky lanterns pose potentialthreat and harm to animals in numerous ways.

“We’re delighted RCT Council has taken this important step forlocal animal welfare. They’ve delivered a powerful statement to their localcommunity and beyond by implementing this voluntary ban.

“RSPCA Cymru has worked closely with Rhondda Cynon Taf Council onthe issue and held productive discussions with Council leader Cllr AndrewMorgan and Cabinet Member Cllr Ann Crimmings.

“Councillors in RCT also unanimously called upon the WelshGovernment to legislate on this issue. RSPCA Cymru believes a Wales-wide ban isthe most effective means to end the threat posed to wildlife, livestock andother animals by these devices.”

CountyBorough Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf County BoroughCouncil said: “The Council has received strong representation from residentsto decisively deal with the dangers Sky Lanterns can pose.

“The RSPCA has long highlighted the dangers associated with theuse of Sky Lanterns and the Council supports their call upon the WelshGovernment to implement an outright ban on their use across Wales.

“Our decision to ban their use on Local Authority land will reducethe risk of fire, harm to animals and damage to our local environment; only anoutright ban delivered through legislation can deliver the necessary protectionfor wildlife and our countryside we as a Council and the RSPCA want to see.”

In October 2013 the Welsh Government wrote to Local Authoritiesencouraging them to introduce a voluntary ban.

Rhondda Cynon TafCounty Borough Council follows Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent,Gwynedd, Cardiff, Caerphilly, Carmarthenshire, Conwy, Neath Port Talbot andPembrokeshire, who have already introduced a ban on the use of sky lanterns onpublic land.

If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to78866 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message). We are a charity andrely on public donations to exist.

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