Cattle deaths add weight to sky lanterns ban bid

LITTERBUGS are being urged to clean up their act after a spate of cattle deaths at a West Yorkshire farm.

A motion is set to go before Kirklees Council next week which will call for a ban on sky lanterns being released from council-owned land.

Vets suspect several cattle have fallen ill, and in some cases died, as a result of ingesting discarded wire on land around Stirley Community Farm near Huddersfield.

As well as asking people to stop littering, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, which runs the farm, is supporting a motion by Kirklees councillors Andrew Cooper and Robert Barraclough which calls for a ban on the release of sky lanterns - or Chinese lanterns - from council-owned land.

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Ian Smart, farm manager at Stirley Community Farm, said: “Whilst we can’t be 100 per cent certain of the cause of death of our cattle, our vet has advised us that the most likely cause is wire that has been ingested by the cows and then punctured their vital organs. It is almost certain that if this is the case then the cows ingested this wire whilst out in the fields or when eating the hay that is made from our fields.

“Whilst we check over our fields carefully before letting livestock on, some of these pieces of litter can be incredibly small and go undetected, yet despite their size still have great potential to cause problems.”

The Trust will be erecting signs around the farm to advise visitors not to drop litter in future.

The motion to ban the release of sky lanterns from Kirklees-owned properties will be presented to the council next Wednesday.