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Animal Concern Advice Line News

ACAL Continue to Call for the Ban of Deilberate Release of Ballons and Chinese Lanterns in Scotland

April 26th 2018: Disappointed with the Government response to our call for a ban on balloon and sky lantern releases John Robins has once again asked the Government to take action.

Roseanna Cunningham MSP,
Cabinet Secretary for Environment,
Climate Change & Land Reform,
The Scottish Government,
St. Andrew's House,
Regent Road,
Edinburgh EH1 3DG

Dear Cabinet Secretary Cunningham,

I write further to my e-mail of 3rd February requesting a Scotland wide legal ban on the release of balloons and Chinese lanterns (AKA sky lanterns).

On 6th March Gary Gray of your Zero Waste Delivery Team replied on your behalf. Mr. Gray invited me to meet with Zero Waste officials to discuss current initiatives to dissuade the public from releasing balloons and sky lanterns and he pointed me in the direction of information on this issue distributed by the charity Marine Conservation Society.

In his reply on your behalf Mr. Gray stated “We understand the concerns raised in relation to the use of fire lanterns. Outdoor balloon and sky lantern releases are often regarded as impressive visual displays and are popular at celebrations and events. However, the negative impact of these displays can last far longer than the visual spectacle. The materials in the balloons and lanterns can cause unsightly litter in the environment and cause a serious and real danger to wildlife on the land and the sea.”

While I am pleased that we are on the same page regarding the dangers of balloons and sky lanterns I am extremely disappointed that Mr. Gray did not mention any possibility of a new law or an amendment to existing legislation to ban the deliberate release of balloons and sky lanterns throughout Scotland.

If Scotland is to join the several other countries with a legal ban on balloon and sky lantern release this will need action by yourself and your Government.

I ask you once again: will you introduce legislation to make it a specific criminal offence to deliberately release balloons and sky lanterns in Scotland?

Yours sincerely,

John F. Robins,
Animal Concern Advice Line