Fears over a future ban on the use of all lead shot throughout the UK were raised considerably last week following the announcement that a group is being brought together to advise DEFRA and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on issues connected with the use of lead ammunition.

Any ban would have a significant impact on shooters, notably those who use older guns, as well as potential animal welfare implications given lead’s superior lethality. The switch to non-toxic shot, if enforced, would have enormous cost implications for shooters, particularly those who will be forced to use expensive alternatives to lead.

Sitting on the advisory group will be representatives from a variety of organisations. Several of them, such as Dr Mark Avery from the RSPB, are already vehemently opposed to the use of lead shot. The RSPB recently introduced its own ban on the use of lead ammunition on its reserves (see News, 24 March).

Also sitting on the group will be John Batley, director of the Gun Trade Association and Robert Gray, campaigns director of the Countryside Alliance (CA). The CA — which opposes any further restrictions on lead shot — was not on the group initially, but after representations were made to DEFRA, it was invited to join.

The rest of this article appears in 31st March issue of Shooting Times.

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