Leaden lack of progress?

By Lord Mountbatten (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Lord Mountbatten (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The Lead Ammunition Group was set up in April 2010 and has made pitifully slow progress.

The latest minutes of the group include this short statement:

The group received a presentation by Dr Ruth Cromie on the WWT Wildlife Health Unit compliance monitoring investigation and perceived barriers to behaviour change. The study results suggest that there has been no improvement in levels of compliance.

Really? You mean that after last summer’s Game Fair majoring on the importance of sticking to the law (not using lead ammunition to shoot wildfowl because it has been illegal for over a decade) and a well-publicised  campaign by all the ‘responsible’ shooting orientated organisations, there has been no improvement in the levels of legal compliance? What? Really?!

In other words, people with guns are routinely breaking environmental laws because they can. And the organisations representing these people appear powerless to influence their members. The message that those organisations promoted was simple: if you want to keep lead, keep to the law.  Shooters are not keeping to the law, and there has been no improvement over more than a decade.

It’s time to ban the use of lead ammunition in the UK as has been done in many other parts of the world.  Why allow criminal activity to persist?




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14 Replies to “Leaden lack of progress?”

  1. There is no reason why in the pursuit of their personal amusement people should be allowed to spray toxic metal all over the countryside. If the shooting community is incapable of following existing restrictions on the use of lead shot then a blanket ban on lead is the only solution short of banning shooting altogether. If they wish to see their 'sport' continue into the future shooting organisations need to start taking a much more rigorous approach to eliminating all forms of illegality associated with it. Agreeing to a ban on lead shot would be an easy place for them to start.

    1. There is absolutely no reason why people shouldn't spray toxic metal all over the countryside - provided that they pick it all up again. Introduction of a Law requiring this would keep everyone happy, and gun barrels would not be damaged nor nothing.

  2. Have some tests done on shot game.Is it contaminated by lead?Is it safe for human consumption?Even small amounts are accumulative.

  3. My friend who shoots [I have many!] was comparing the shot. Steel shot is a waste of time as the birds can go a long way before dying and the tungsten is more expensive but does the job. The main concern is the ware and tare on the barrel of the gun. I know several shoots where they start with duck over water and then move onto pheasants. Most guns will use lead throughout the day! If they ban lead then they should also make it compulsory to have a silencer on the gun so we do not have to put up with that dreadful noise!!

    1. John - funny that UK shooters can't cope with steel shot (although actually many of them can and already do) whereas across the world other shooters have made the change and aren't trying to change back to lead. You probably couldn't get more conservative than the shooting community - any change is a bad thing? Denmark banned lead years ago and shooting continues as a major part of rural life.

  4. Self regulation rarely works (I would say never, but perhaps there is an example somewhere), just look at the food industry and look at the response from Defra regarding John Armitage's 'Licensing of upland grouse moors and gamekeepers' petition. I'm sure Mark will be composing a piece about it as we speak.

    1. Diane - thanks for sharing that response - what an absolutely pathetic answer! Despite no hen harriers in England the "policies to the policies in place to conserve these species are working" - sorry, run that past me again??

      Note "This e-petition remains open to signatures and will be considered for debate by the Backbench Business Committee should it pass the 100 000 signature threshold." Bring it on!!

      1. Mark, It might say it remains open for signatures but the first line of the epetition website says 'this petition is now closed.'

      2. We need RSPB to review the response and expose the gaping holes and double speak to their members...then ask them to sign.

    2. I agree the response is disappointing and to me it seems to be obtuse and even partisan - "...The overall environmental and economic impact of game bird shooting is therefore a positive one and it has been estimated by the industry that £250 million per year is spent on management activities that provide benefits for conservation".

      When a major part of the petition is specifically focused on grouse moors it is perverse to justify not implementing the proposal on the grounds that Buzzard and Red Kite are increasing in numbers - what about Hen Harriers?

  5. Why? Because they can! They (like most game keepers and farmers), don't believe that the laws are serious and that they apply to them. Besides...who is going to enforce them?

  6. I would have used a mole - or better still a bat to illustrate Mark as the powers that ought to know bloody better are turning a blind eye to this continuing sadness. Respect for keeping it in the public eye


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