The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC ) and the Countryside Alliance stress that all shooters comply with the simple laws on using lead ammunition. Fail to do so and you not only bring the name of shooting into disrepute, but you could get a hefty fine and a criminal record.

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 Simon Prince, chief constable of Dyfed-Powys Police, who is the national police lead for rural crime, said: “We believe that there are still some members of the public who, whether knowingly or through a lack of understanding of the law, are using lead ammunition to shoot wildfowl in England and Wales. The law is simple: it is illegal to use lead ammunition to shoot wildfowl. Anyone who does so, risks a fine of £1,000 and a criminal conviction.”

Allan Jarrett, chairman of the BASC, added: “Non-compliance lays us open to claims that current regulation is inadequate and enforcement can only be achieved by introducing yet more laws. It should be unacceptable to all of us who obey the law that others put our shooting in jeopardy by ignoring it. As we are prepared to crack down on the selfishness or stupidity of others, when it comes to safety, we should also ensure that others around us are complying with the law on lead ammunition.”

And Tim Bonner, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said: “We need to get to the final few who for whatever reason believe they don’t have to comply with the legislation that is in place. We support the zero tolerance shown by wildfowling clubs, and are confident that they are 100 percent compliant. We want to see that example reflected by the whole shooting community.”