The council of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), the charity founded by the wildfowler and conservationist Sir Peter Scott, has approved a strategy which will see it campaign publicly for a ban on the use of lead gunshot for all shooting in England within the next three years.

Part of the campaign?s method is to propagate public concern over consumption of lead-shot game by enlisting the backing of celebrity chefs and the online site Mumsnet.

Documents passed to Shooting Times from the council?s meeting on 22 March state: If we do not take a lead on this no one else will as it is not central to the mission of any other UK conservation organisation.

The campaign is one the WWT considers risky, however. It notes: HRH & others at Buckingham Palace may not be amenable to this ? but if handled in the right way (new information, emerging risks ? how could anyone have known etc.) Prince Charles could be an advocate ? unpredictable. HM The Queen is the charity?s patron, while HRH the Prince of Wales is its president.

Entitled ?Update on the Lead Gunshot Position and Advocacy Plan Approved by Council in December 2011?, the document outlines the strategy for the WWT?s lead shot campaign.

The paper?s authors, director of conservation Dr Debbie Pain and head of communications Amy Coyte, recommend partnering with organisations such as Mumsnet and the National Childbirth Trust and a celebrity chef such as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to raise public awareness of health risks it says are associated with consumption of lead-shot game.

The WWT proposes a number of criteria for success which the authors hope to achieve within three years. These include a total ban on the use of lead shot in the UK, an effective ban on the sale of any game shot with lead and the introduction of food labelling with health warnings on lead-shot game.

The rest of this article appears in the 25th April issue of Shooting Times.

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