Published - Government’s proposed new restrictions on use of lead ammunition over all environments in Britain - Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

On Friday 6 May the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), as part of the UK REACH process, has published its dossier or ‘report’ with recommendations on restricting the use of all lead ammunition over all types of landscape in England, Scotland and Wales.

WWT is glad to see the publication of this report. Although we need more time to fully digest the 230 page document we are happy to see the clear appraisal of the problems caused by lead ammunition and the recommendation to ban its use in most circumstances.

We particularly welcome that the report recognises that for all the uses of lead included in this dossier, the HSE concludes that the use of lead shot and bullets pose a risk to the environment and/or human health that is not currently adequately controlled and needs to be addressed at a GB level.

As such the report’s recommendations include

We support these recommendations.

We note that different transition periods are recommended away from lead shot, with a 5-year period if derogations for competitive sports shooting are approved. We believe that a shorter transition period is both desirable and achievable.

WWT submitted extensive scientific research about the problems caused by lead ammunition and the solutions to the poisoning it causes to wildlife and people to UK REACH as part as of the technical evidence gathering process to draft the report.

We will prepare a comprehensive assessment of the published report with comment on our website shortly and will be submitting our full response within the 6 month public consultation period. Our researchers are very familiar with the extensive scientific literature around lead ammunition and will want to ensure the report and the recommendations it makes is as robust as possible.

Our research includes findings that between 50,000 to 100,000 wildfowl die in the UK each year due to ingesting lead. A further 200,000 to 400,000 birds suffer welfare or health impacts, and animals that predate wildfowl can also suffer.

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Posted On: 09/05/2022

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