Sky lantern photo by Julius Tejeda

Moray Council prohibits sky lantern and mass balloon releases

Moray Council has agreed to ban sky lanterns and mass balloon releases from events on council owned or managed land.

The Council recognises the release of sky lanterns and mass balloon releases have been linked to significant environmental impacts, including fires, pollution and on occasion has resulted in illness and death to both livestock and wild animals.

In a motion brought to full council on Wednesday 28 September by Elgin South Councillor Graham Leadbitter, events approved through the Council’s booking systems will no longer permit such activity.

Speaking at the meeting Cllr Leadbitter said: “There are, sadly, far too many examples of major fires that have occurred as a result of sky lanterns and examples of animals suffering serious injury and death as a result of ingesting parts of lanterns and balloons.

“Banning their use on Council land is important for our environment, for animal welfare, for reducing the risk of distress and injury to firefighters and the public and for protecting residential and business properties from avoidable fire risk.”

Following the meeting, Council Leader, Cllr Kathleen Robertson, added: “Although these activities may have been waning in popularity in recent years, as people have come to realise the dangers they present, there is evidence of them still happening.

“In my role as a Veterinary Surgeon I’ve sadly had to operate on animals injured by the wires from sky lanterns, so I know first-hand the danger they pose.

“Taking this action today is a way to safeguard our environment and prevent future incidents with livestock and animals, which is ultimately more desirable than an Instagrammable lantern or balloon display.”

Contact Information

Moray Council Press Office