It has been illegal to use lead ammunition to shoot wildfowl (in England) since 1999 but shooters are regularly breaking the law.
In 2010 (10 years after a ban on lead ammunition for shooting wildfowl) a test of compliance showed that 70% of ducks available for sale for human consumption contained lead ammunition. This should have been 0%.
In 2013 shooting organisations began to worry that a lead ban was coming and so in 2013 they set up a website http://leadshotcampaign.org.uk which includes the following.
‘Non-compliance lays us open to claims that current regulation is inadequate and enforcement can only be achieved by introducing yet more laws. We have seen before, in many areas of public life, that regulators often see total bans as the easy option. So to push government into this course, and achieve a total lead ban, those opposed to shooting are trying their hardest to portray shooters as persistently breaking the law.
The answer lies in our own hands. If we all stick to the law there is nothing to fear. It should be unacceptable to all of us who obey the law that others put our sport in jeopardy by ignoring it. There will be more testing of duck for lead shot over the coming season. In a previous study 70 per cent of ducks on sale were found to contain lead.‘
In 2014 it was reported to the Lead Ammunition Group that after all those fine words from the shooting organisations there had been no improvement in compliance: ‘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.‘
So, where use of lead ammunition is already illegal – the law is ignored.
Only by banning its use everywhere, which makes sense anyway, will shooters be forced to comply with a 16-year-old law as well as reduce their environmental impact in the future.