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Obey law or risk losing lead

The use of lead shot still faces threats from European legislators.

lead shot

Shooters have been warned that disobeying regulations on the use of lead shot could result in further restrictions.

Lead shot is banned on the foreshore in England and Wales and wetlands in Scotland and it is an offence to shoot any wildfowl or waders with lead shot at any location in England and Wales. While an outright ban proposed by the Lead Ammunition Group (LAG) in 2016 was ruled out, the European Chemical Agency has just completed its own consultation on its use.

The threat to lead remains

The ECHA is now deciding what proposals to take forward and the Countryside Alliance (CA) has warned that the threat to lead remains.

Jack Knott, CA campaigns manager, told Shooting Times: “All the responses have now been made public whilst ECHA decide on their final proposals to take forward to the European Commission. Within the list of responses there were both some surprising and unsurprising submissions.

“Surprisingly, Birdlife International’s decision to turn this consultation into a social media campaign was a far cry from their usual scientific work and shameful to witness. As ever any policy decision should be made on scientific evidence not public pressure.

“Unsurprisingly and a running theme from organisations that wished to see ECHA’s proposals implemented was that the alleged non-compliance of the legislation, by those shooting wildfowl in England and Wales with lead shot, is the predominant reason for needing further restrictions. Now more than ever we need abide with the law or together we risk further legislation.”

Brexit will not free UK from European red tape

He added: “We cannot be fooled into believing that just because the LAG’s work was refuted by Defra the threat of further restrictions to lead ammunition has passed.

“Though it is tempting to think Brexit will save us from this European red tape, it will not. If Europe acts against lead during the ‘transition period’ or even after Brexit, it could well force UK politicians to follow suit regardless of the evidence provided.”