Forest Enterprise Scotland seem to be moving rather more slowly towards getting rid of toxic lead ammunition – although I get the impression that they are probably heading in the right direction. What do you think – this is what they sent me as a statement?:
Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES) said:
“Due to concerns regarding the potential impacts on wildlife and human health from lead in the environment, the use of lead ammunition in the UK is currently being assessed by the DEFRA-led ‘Lead Ammunition Group’.
In Scotland we are currently using lead and non-lead ammunition on the National Forest Estate. Our experience will be reviewed and briefly summarised, taking into account the overall effectiveness of both lead and non-lead, the evidence and conclusions of the Defra Lead Ammunition Group, and any new trials we may conduct.
Consideration will then be given to the future use of lead and/or non-lead ammunition on the NFE. Recreational stalkers and other stakeholders will be consulted regarding any proposals by FES as to the future use of non-leaded ammunition for leases and permissions on the National Forest Estate.”
Last year, FES culled 32,500 deer – more than twice as many as are culled in English public forests. It would seem unlikely on the evidence, but also after the announcement with regard to England, that FES will supply venison into the food chain contaminated with toxic lead when it is clear that viable, safer alternatives exist.