Gloucestershire

Dead owl found trapped in Chinese lantern

Barn owl trapped in Chinese lantern
It is believed the bird had been hunting for food when it became trapped

An owl has been found dead apparently after becoming tangled up in a Chinese lantern at a Gloucestershire farm.

It was discovered on land at Breadstone near Berkeley on Wednesday.

Farmer Simon Pain said he was "shocked" by the discovery of the barn owl, which he believed had been hunting for food near the grass margin of a field.

Spokesman for the National Farmers Union (NFU) Ian Johnson said: "Whilst these lanterns look very pretty there are unforeseen consequences."

"We've been warning about about them for some time, certainly in terms of livestock," he added.

"Now we can see what a hazard they are to wildlife as well."

'Key bird'

Mr Johnson said the NFU would back any proposal leading to a ban on the lanterns coming into force.

Mr Pain said: "The barn owl on the farm is one of the key birds we have.

"For the last 10 years we've been trying to create the right environment for the birds to live and survive.

"I'd be more than happy to see a ban [on lanterns]," he added.

There have been numerous calls for a ban on Chinese lanterns, which are seen as a fire risk.

The lanterns' metal parts can also kill cows if the animals eat them, farmers have warned.

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