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Shooters reject Weetabix claims on lead shot contamination

Will you find lead shot in your daily Weetabix? Shooting groups can't see it happening.


Shooting groups have questioned comments by Weetabix’s head of quality Keith Turnbull, warning farmers to avoid contaminating wheat grain with lead shot.

In an article for the Combinable Crops & Sugar Beet Newsletter, Mr Turnbull said he receives wheat containing lead shot. He urged farmers to “stop this contamination occurring on your farm”.

But his statement has puzzled shooting organisations, which say there is no way that shot can be picked up from fields.

Combines act as giant sieves

A BASC spokesman said: “We can’t see how modern combines could pick up shot from fields, and if picked up, the same combines are particularly good at removing unwanted objects. It is far more likely that foreign objects are introduced in grain stores.”

The Countryside Alliance added: “If shooting in and around the farmyard for pest control, we would think it is quite obvious not to shoot pests with any type of ammunition using a backstop of a grain store! We would certainly like to see some figures to back up these claims.”

No evidence of harm from use of lead in shotgun cartridges

Earlier in 2015 Norway repealed its ban on lead shot, outside of wetlands and clay shooting grounds. After sustained lobbying from the Norway Hunters’ Association, the Norwegians decided that there was no real evidence of any real harm from the use of lead in shotgun cartridges and believed that none of the alternatives to lead ammunition were as effective.

The Countryside Alliance writes: “Restrictions on the use of lead shot already exist to address any proven environmental concern. Any further unjustified restrictions could have serious implications for the gun trade, the rural economy and the natural environment.” Read more at The Countryside Alliance “The Case for Lead”.