AN article in The Press of January 4 recorded the danger to farms from Chinese lanterns.

Roger Hildreth, who farms near Hessay, said he had to place rumen magnets in 150 dairy cows. The bits of metal caught by the magnet are often from Chinese lanterns.

Here at Vetsonic, we have seen a large increase in the sale of these magnets to cattle farmers, because of the rise in metal objects finding their way into cattle feedstuff.

The rumen magnets are designed to sit in the first of the cow’s four stomachs (Reticulum) and “grab” bits of metal the cow eats, stopping sharp wires from going further into the digestive system and then migrating around the body of the cow which can often cause death; this problem is often referred to as “hardware disease”.

Mr Hildreth stated the danger these lanterns present when they land while still alight. He is quite correct – they are a menace. The irresponsible release of these lanterns is putting lives at risk and causing damage to property and winter feed.

As also mentioned, Chinese lanterns can set fire to straw and barns very easily. He called for these lanterns to be banned and we agree with him.

Ray Rochester, Managing director, Vetsonic (UK) Ltd Riccal Drive, York Road Business Park, Malton.