A farmer has been awarded compensation after one of his cows died after choking on a balloon. Children at a Primary School in south-east London released hundreds of balloons in aid of comic relief. Little did they know the dangers of doing so! One of their red helium balloons ended up over 50 miles away in Kent and sadly a 13 month old bullock choked to death on its string.
The Farmer, Richard Vant, found the balloon, with a string and a label attached to it, sticking out of the cow’s mouth. The label was traced back to the school. Vant made a claim for compensation but the insurers, Gallacher Basset initially refused to pay him compensation as they claimed that the accident was unforeseeable. He was looking for compensation for the cost of his dead cow and the cost of having it removed from his land.
After much argument the insurers agreed to pay Vant £889 in compensation. Farming and conservation groups are campaigning for a ban on mass releases of balloons and Chinese lanterns because of the deadly threat to livestock and wildlife. Mass balloon releases are also a threat to fish, seabirds, turtles and even whales and dolphins. This is because deflated balloons often end up floating at sea.