Celebrate Olympics with care, horse society urges


People are being urged to spare a thought for animals as they prepare to celebrate the London Olympic, with Chinese lanterns and fireworks in their sights.

Some forms of celebration can be hazardous for pets and livestock, it said, citing Chinese lanterns.

Chinese lanterns were a pretty sight flying across the night sky, but the potential for harm when they descend is catastrophic, it said.

The society said it had received terrible reports of internal and external injuries to horses and other livestock caused by wires from these lanterns.

It said many who marvelled at the sight would be horrified to learn of the injuries and deaths horses and other animals have experienced due to these lanterns that are intended to celebrate and bring good luck.

The charity urged everyone to enjoy the excitement of the next few weeks, but offered  advice to ensure their celebrations do not end in disaster for horses.

  • Chinese Lanterns – The British Horse Society has been made aware of many ‘novelty’ lanterns, one of which is a Union Jack design. Clearly, these would be fitting for release this summer. However, there is no way of controlling which way they travel or where they land. Please think carefully before releasing them.
  • Fireworks – If you are planning a fireworks display please consider contacting any nearby horse owners. Site the display as far away as possible from horses, barns or stables.
  • Car decorations – Horses are likely to be startled by the loud flutter that car window flags generate. When passing horses with car-mounted flags on your car, slow down even more and give horses a wider berth when overtaking. Please consider flying flags only on the offside of your vehicle to allow more room between the horse and the flag.

The society’s senior safety executive, Sheila Hardy, said: “The BHS is as excited as anyone about the forthcoming Olympic Games and wishes in no way to dampen spirits.

“However, abiding by these simple measures could make the world of difference for our four-legged-friends.”





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