BASC has strongly criticised the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust?s (WWT) plans, revealed last month in Shooting Times, to campaign for a total ban on the use of lead shot in England.

Leaked papers from a WWT council meeting revealed that the charity wants to raise public awareness of health risks it says are associated with consuming game shot using lead by enlisting the backing of celebrity chefs.

BASC spokesman Simon Clarke told Shooting Times that the WWT had no business instigating such a campaign, and should wait for the findings of the independent Lead Ammunition Group (LAG) to be published.

He said: ?It is a tragedy that an organisation with a remit to protect wildfowl and wetlands has chosen to move into areas beyond its competency by opting to campaign for a total lead ban ? and the declared intention of the WWT to start a health scare deliberately around game meat is shocking.?

?The WWT has chosen to pre-empt the work of the LAG, which is working to assess all the scientific evidence on lead ammunition before reporting its findings to DEFRA.?

RESPONSE TO EU THREAT

In a further development, the UK?s shooting, gun trade and countryside management organisations last week submitted their response to a threat to the continued use of lead shot in the European Union.

The Federation of European Hunting Organisations (FACE) will now collate responses from all member countries around Europe before making a final submission to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

FACE UK?s submission includes ?scientifically valid evidence and relevant information,? according to its secretary, Dr Conor O?Gorman, and would ensure the ECHA can ?make decisions based on facts, not speculation?.

He said: ?FACE will use our response, along with others received from across Europe, to make a case for protecting the use of lead shot from unwarranted restrictions.?

?We believe that ECHA?s focus should be on wetlands, given that some member states have yet to implement restrictions and many others have only recently done so. In the UK, there remains a high level of compliance among waterfowl hunters and, in particular, wildfowling clubs.?

?Shortfalls in compliance among other duck hunters are due to the Government?s failure to ensure buy-in from the shooting community, and the little effort made to educate and inform shooters about the legislation.?

?Many hunters were not convinced of the need for regulation, and a perceived lack of enforcement since the regulations were introduced has not helped. Nevertheless, everyone who shoots should comply with the law.?

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