Lead: “Further restrictions are likely”

Shooting organisations admit “further restrictions are likely” on lead shot and lead-based rifle ammo, but say they are working “to secure the future of shooting”

Responding to an article in The Times calling for the use of lead to stop, BASC, the Countryside Alliance, the GWCT and NGO teamed up to send in a response that said shooters aren’t resisting change, but instead are “working together, acting positively and promoting all research and development into new products.”

They emphasised that shooting needed to be “given the appropriate time to make any required transitions”.

Their joint response said: “The author seems unaware that the use of lead shot for the shooting of wildfowl and over many wetlands has been banned for 20 years as part of the UK’s involvement with the African Eurasian Waterbirds Agreement. That restriction resulted from clear evidence of the impact of lead shot on wildfowl and has the support of ‘rural groups’.

“[The author] also fails to mention the Lead Ammunition Group created under the last Labour government. The group’s report… failed to find any consensus and the government’s response was that the ‘report did not show that the impacts of lead ammunition were significant enough to justify changing current policy’.

However, further legislative EU procedures are in motion; one process aims to standardise the wetland restrictions across Europe forcing changes within the UK, another newly started process could in time lead to a complete ban on lead ammunition. 

“Far from being ‘defensive’, the shooting community recognises that further restrictions are likely. By working together, acting positively and promoting all research and development into new products, rural groups are looking to secure the future of shooting.

Critical to progress is that any future legislation is proportionate and an industry worth over £2 billion annually to the rural economy is given the appropriate time to make any required transitions.”

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