Atherton MP backs farmers' concerns over Chinese lantern problem
10:20am Saturday 17th August 2013 in NW
ATHERTON MP Julie Hilling has vowed to continue her fight to tackle the issue of Chinese lanterns when parliament resumes in September.
Ms Hilling, MP for Bolton West, has previously raised the issue in the House of Commons after repeated calls for action after a huge fire at a recycling plant in Smethwick, in the West Midlands, last month, was started by a lantern and caused £6 million worth of damage.
At the time, Ms Hilling asked the minister of state for agriculture and food, David Heath, when legislation would be created to do something about the problem.
And she said she will be reiterating that question when parliament resumes.
Ms Hilling added: “The Smethwick fire demonstrated just how dangerous these lanterns can be.
“We either need a safer version or to get rid of them altogether because we can’t carry on this way.
“I will be putting forward further questions on this and pushing for a full report.”
Farmers have been calling for action because of instances where livestock have been injured and crops have been damaged by lanterns.
The dangers to animals are multiplied when wire framed lanterns descend on grassland and become entangled in hay bales.
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