Shooting and hunting organisations from all over Europe met in Brussels earlier this month to discuss the threat to the continued use of lead shot presented by a number of developments at European level.

The Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation of the EU (FACE), whose UK membership includes BASC, the GWCT, the Countryside Alliance and the NGO, hosted a meeting on 5 September.

At the meeting, there was discussion on Sweden?s notification to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) that it is preparing a dossier on future restrictions on lead.

It is not clear yet whether Sweden will seek to incorporate lead ammunition into future potential restrictions. The impact of lead on public health was also discussed at the meeting as it falls under the remit of DG Sanco.

DG Sanco is the European Directorate General for health and the organisation?s remit includes the reduction of toxic substances in people?s diets.

There is a concern that it may target game meat, despite the fact that the European Food Standards Agency published two reports, one in 2010 and one this year, which illustrated that game was a tiny source of lead in the diet, especially when compared with other foods such as cereals which contribute significantly more.

Earlier in the summer, FACE?s UK membership agreed a policy position on lead ammunition that, among other things stated unequivocally that: ?Members of FACE UK vigorously oppose any unwarranted further restrictions on the use of lead ammunition either from the UK or in Europe?; and ?In the absence of any relevant peer reviewed, scientific evidence, no further restrictions should be placed on the use of lead ammunition?.

FACE UK is hopeful that its statement will be adopted by shooting organisations at a Europe-wide level.

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