There are just over nine weeks to go before new lead shot restrictions come into force in Northern Ireland. The regulations will prohibit the use of lead shot to shoot any species of bird or animal on or over wetlands. Anyone shooting with lead shot on or over wetlands on or after 1 September will be committing an offence and will be liable to prosecution. Conviction could result in a fine of up to £1,000.

The legislation applies to all wetlands, including all foreshore areas, in Northern Ireland. Therefore, all coastal wildfowling, including puntgunning, will have to be undertaken with non-lead shot. Inland flightponds, no matter how small, are counted as wetland features, as are fields that frequently flood or which include streams, ponds or other wetland features. Shooting duck, geese, game, pests or clays away from wetlands will not be affected by the legislation.

BASC’s director for Northern Ireland, Roger Pollen, said: “It is very important that all people who shoot in the Province are aware that these new regulations come into force soon, as non-compliance could lead to prosecutions. Non-lead alternatives are widely available from all good gundealers.”

The rest of this article appears in 25 June issue of Shooting Times.

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