Following consideration of the Lead Ammunition Group's report, the government has decided that there is not enough evidence to ban lead shot.
In a letter dated 12 July to John Swift, the Chair of the Lead Ammunition Group, Liz Truss MP said their report “did not show that the impacts of lead ammunition were significant enough to justify changing current policy.”
There will therefore be no ban on lead ammunition.
BASC have welcomed the government’s decision in the middle of the association’s campaign against a global lead shot ban.
BASC chairman Peter Glenser said: “The government has engaged in a lengthy, evidence-based analysis of the use of lead ammunition and has found there is no reason to change the law.
“Risks are there to be managed and it is quite clear from current evidence that by following FSA advice and trimming meat of shot-affected areas, the risk can be eliminated.
“Unfortunately, the lead ammunition debate has been hijacked by campaigners who are looking to damage shooting as a whole. This puts them back in their box.”
The Food Standard Agency will not change advice
The Lead Ammunition Group’s report concluded: “Lead is a highly toxic hazard and presents risk at all levels of exposure. It is especially dangerous as a neurotoxin for both young people and for wild animals.”
They also claimed that 10,000 children from the shooting community who will regularly eat game which could cause them “neurodevelopmental harm.”
The Food Standards Agency concluded that the report’s human health risk assessment did not provide sufficient evidence for them to change their current advice to people consuming lead-shot game.
The FSA have advised since 2012 that people who frequently eat lead-shot game should cut down their consumption.
In Ms Truss’ letter she recognises a poor compliance issue with the Lead Shot regulations. “I can confirm that Defra will look at how the existing Regulations on wildfowling can be better implemented.”
The European Chemical Agency (ECHA) have been asked by the European Commission to gather information on the potential risks lead ammunition poses in order to establish if there is a case for regulating its use within the European Union. The Lead Ammunition Group’s report will be used as evidence for the ECHA.