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‘Please do not use sky lanterns’ to show support during Clap For Carers

NFUS has long called for a ban on sky lanterns.
NFUS has long called for a ban on sky lanterns.

Two national charities are urging the public in the north-east to not use sky lanterns to show NHS support tonight.

RNLI Montrose has published a plea for people to show their support for carers in other ways.

It comes after online posts have been circulating to light and release sky lanterns ahead of tonight’s weekly Clap For Carers.

The movement sees people clapping and standing by their doors, balconies and windows to thank frontline workers during the pandemic.

There have been posts circulating to support the NHS by lighting Sky Lanterns. There are a number of ways to show your…

Posted by RNLI Montrose on Thursday, 16 April 2020

In an online statement the lifeboat charity said: “There are a number of ways to show your support to the NHS. Sky lanterns are dangerous.

“They can cause harm to wildlife. They can, in some cases, start fires in dry grass areas or dune areas. They can also be mistaken for distress flares.

“Please do not use them, rather donate to a worthy NHS Charity.”

The Scottish SPCA has echoed the plea, saying the demonstration could have detrimental effects on wildlife, farm animals and pets.

The welfare charity knows of examples where farm animals have been injured or killed by swallowing fragments from sky lanterns.

The lanterns may start fires when they land, which can endanger wildlife and their habitats.

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 may seem like a nice gesture and many people are likely unaware of the damage they can do.

“However, 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 the escape, these animals can get hurt in the process of doing so.

“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.”

If anyone is concerned about an animal being injured by a sky lantern, they are being advised to phone the Scottish SPCA’s animal helpline on 03000 999 999.

If you and your family are planning to take part in the UK-wide event to celebrate NHS staff in their fight against coronavirus tonight, we’d like to see pictures and videos of your celebrations.

Since the lockdown begun, tens of thousands of people across the country stood on their doorsteps to celebrate hard working key works.

In the north-east pipers took to the streets out their homes and ships in the harbour sounded in tribute to the incredible key workers across the country.

We want to help support our care workers and NHS staff who have been working hard on the frontlines during this outbreak.

The campaign has proved popular on social media, and north-east residents are being asked to clap for health workers from front doors, gardens, balconies or windows at 8pm this evening.

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