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Coverage of plans to phase out lead ammunition in bid to protect wildlife

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There is national and regional coverage in the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Times and Yorkshire Post today on our plans to phase out lead ammunition in a bid to protect wildlife.

The coverage focuses on the government’s plans and how countryside and shooting organisations are working to phase out lead ammunition, in favour of alternatives like steel.

Evidence shows lead can be poisonous to animals and between 50,000 to 100,000 wildfowl die every year from ingesting lead from used pellets.

We are considering restrictions under the UK’s new chemical regulation system, UK REACH. We have requested an official review of the evidence to begin today and will launch a public consultation in due course.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said:

Addressing the impacts of lead ammunition will mark a significant step forward in helping to protect wildlife, people, and the environment.

This is a welcome development for our new chemicals framework, and will help ensure a sustainable relationship between shooting and conservation.

Today’s announcement has been welcomed by environmental organisations.

Dr Julia Newth, Ecosystem Health & Social Dimensions Manager at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), said:

Conservationists, including WWT, shooting organisations and game meat retailers have recognised the toxic risks from lead ammunition to people and the environment. Regulation of its use in all shooting, wherever this may happen, is very much needed as soon as possible to protect human and animal health and to enable us to move towards a greener and safer future.

Shooting organisations are also supportive of transitioning away from the use of lead ammunition and are working with government to bring this about.

The Environment Agency, together with the Health and Safety Executive, will now start a two-year process to review the evidence, conduct a public consultation and propose options for restrictions.

UK REACH allows decisions to be made on the regulation of chemicals based on the best available scientific evidence, ensuring chemicals remain safely used and managed.

As part of these plans, certain harmful substances that can be found in tattoo inks and permanent make-up could also be restricted. Read more about the further restriction work on here.

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  1. Comment by Neil Quinn posted on

    Does DEFRA moderate out all comments that do not follow the party line? I posted something here about house cats killing 27 million birds per year. I thought that was very relevant but you don't seem to like my comment.

  2. Comment by Neil Quinn posted on

    If the government wanted to do a proper job of protecting birds, they would ban house cats. According to the Mammal Society they are responsible for 27 million dead birds every year.

    The evidence of lead shot being harmful is disputed and not as clear cut as animal activists pretend. I assume is the reason that DEFRA will take time to study the evidence again before overturning their decision in 2016 not to restrict lead shot.

  3. Comment by John Baxter posted on

    Time to get with to Ducks Unlimited in western Canada......they were onto this issue back in the 70 s.......yes 50 years ago....and waterfowl shooting is very popular in N. America.
    Sometimes we are so far behind we actually think we are ahead.

  4. Comment by William Hughes-Games posted on

    It is ironic that we mocked the Romans for using lead pipes in their water reticulation systems and wine-soluable lead glazes on their goblets and yet for years we spewed lead into the air from our ICE cars and use lead in our shot guns which poisons our environment. Are we really Homo sapien or perhaps Homo stupidus. We have the knowlege in so many spheres that the Romans didn't have and still do stupid things.

  5. Comment by Michael Desmond Walters posted on

    If this government is truly serious about protecting wildlife it would ban all forms of hunting and shooting for "sport".