Lead ammunition campaign latest: Study reveals excessive lead levels in raw dog food with pheasant - Wildfowl & Wetland Trust

A staggering 77% of raw dog food with pheasant has excessive levels of lead – posing significant risks to our pets, the latest study has confirmed.

It’s the latest in a line of research which outlines the issue of toxic lead shot, who and what it impacts and how prevalent it is in game meat, despite partial regulations and a voluntary ban being in place and alternative types of ammunition readily available.

WWT has been leading a campaign to end the use of lead ammunition in order to halt environmental contamination and protect wildlife and people. Working with international partners, we helped secure an EU-wide ban on the use of lead in wetlands and are now campaigning for tighter regulations as part of the UK and EU REACH processes which put in place restrictions and guidance for the use of chemicals, including lead.

“Lead is toxic for people and animals – both wild and domestic – and we must act now to prevent further harm,” explains Dr Julia Newth, WWT’s Ecosystem Health and Social Dimensions Manager. “As a society we’ve wised up to the harms of lead in petrol and paint and taken clear action to get rid of this, but as it stands lead – in the form of lead ammunition - continues to contaminate our countryside, poison our wildlife and pose significant threats to people and now we understand, their pets too. When lead enters the body, be it that of a swan, a dog, a human or foetus, the damage is widespread and prolonged. There are non-toxic alternatives available and we need to transition to these in order to protect the planet, nature and people.”

Researchers from the University of Cambridge tested samples of raw pheasant dog food and discovered that the majority contained high levels of lead that could put dogs’ health at risk if they eat it frequently.

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Posted On: 04/05/2023

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