For many years they've been used as a symbol of celebration. But accidents caused by Chinese lanterns have led to calls for them to be banned. Now farmers are backing the campaign, saying the lanterns threaten crops and can kill animals.
Farmer, Victoria Hopkinson
Farmers in our region are backing a campaign to ban Chinese sky lanterns. They claim they're damaging their crops and are a danger to their animals.
Farmers in Sheffield are calling for a ban on Chinese lanterns.
They have taken to Twitter to vent their frustrations and distribute an e-petition. They say the lanterns land in fields and can be eaten by curious cows, then the wire, which forms the structure of the lantern, can become wrapped around the unsuspecting cow's stomach, causing septicaemia and death.
Concerned farmers say along with a loss of livestock, wayward lanterns are also setting fire to dry crops, including bales of hay - losing them yet more money.
Chinese lanterns have been around since the 3rd Century BC, but have been banned in some countries like Germany for the risk they can pose. One was believed to have started a fire consisting of 100,000 tonnes of plastic recycling material in the West Midlands in July.
Farmers say that an all out ban is the only way to protect their livestock and livelihoods.
One of the country's biggest milk processing firms,which has faced protests and blockades by farmers, has abandoned its plans to cut the price it pays for milk.
Robert Wiseman Dairies has announced it is scrapping plans to cut the price it pays dairy farmers for milk. It is the last of the major milk processors to make an announcement following concerted protests and blockades of its plants by farmers.
It had planned a 1.7 pence per litre price reduction, but now says the price it pays to farmers will not change in August as originally planned.
– Robert Wiseman Dairies statement
The decision takes account of concerns raised since we announced a 1.7ppl reduction in our ex-farm price from 1 August 2012. This followed the significant loss of income we suffered further to the substantial decline in cream values experienced since the beginning of the year which left us unable to sustain the milk price we were paying."
"West Yorkshire Police last night attended a trade dispute at an industrial premises on Savannah Way, Stourton, Leeds.The protest involved between 150 and 180 demonstrators and officers attended to ensure a fair balance was struck between facilitating a peaceful protest, ensuring the safety of the public and so the company concerned could operate 'business as usual' as far as possible.
The protest ended at around midnight when the protestors left the scene. There were no arrests. Contrary to reports in the media the protestors were not served with any injunctions. Before dispersing off of their own volition they were served with section 14 notices which imposed conditions on their assembly. The section 14 notice did not compel them to leave the area entirely.
– Chief Superintendent Paul Money, Divisional Commander for City and Holbeck
The relationship between police and protestors was cordial as it was between protestors and the employees of the company.The trade dispute is thought to be part of a national issue and senior officers are in close and regular contact with the company and the protestors to ensure we remain in a position to continue to facilitate peaceful demonstration should the need arise."
The Archbishop of York has added his voice to calls for the region's farmers to be paid a fair price for their produce. Dr John Sentamu warned that supermarkets were dangerously failing to value the agricultural industry.
Last night farmers blockaded the Arla milk processing plant in Leeds to protest against continued cuts.
Around five hundred dairy farmers are protesting outside a food processing plant in Leeds tonight. Farmers For Action, who organised the event say they are not being paid a fair price for their milk and want plans for further price cuts at the end of the month to be scrapped.
After protesting in Leeds last night, dairy farmers have not ruled out further action in their campaign against cuts to the price of milk. The farmers, angry about the amount they receive from processors, protested last night outside Arla dairy in the city.
They say they will be paid less for their milk than it costs to produce it. Meetings are taking place today between farmers and dairies.