Labour has this right

800px-7.5_CartridgesThe Shadow environment minister, Alex Cunningham, spoke well in the Westminster Hall debate last week saying

As a responsible society, recognising the inherent dangers, we have already taken action and regulated to cut lead from petrol, from paint and from water pipes. But, despite the evidence and our previous moves to regulate other sources of exposure, we have not yet banned the use of lead by shooters completely. With softer restrictions on the use of lead ammunition having been widely flouted, the time has come to embrace the growing body of evidence and for all lead shot and bullets to be replaced with non-toxic alternatives.

Yesterday his office issued a press release emphasising the need to remove toxic ammunition from our lives. Mr Cunningham said

I was saddened that the Minister does not see fit to heed the extensive evidence of lead’s toxicity at this time and the danger this threatens to animals and humans – evidence further confirmed earlier this month by the latest research published by the influential Oxford Lead Symposium.

To avoid these risks, we need positive actions to close the existing regulatory gaps and meet our international commitments rather than passivity.  I was pleased the Minister at least said DEFRA was still considering the evidence, but it is high time that we stopped ducking this problem and took a common sense approach to regulating lead ammunition.‘.

To help bring this message home to the government and Defra ministers, please sign Rob Sheldon’s e-petition to ban toxic ammunition.



3 Replies to “Labour has this right”

  1. When I listened to the live debate I was struck by the number of times ‘lack of evidence’ was cited, or at best that there was a need to acquire more evidence of the health and environmental risks associated with lead ammunition. Amazingly, Simon Hart (Con) even accused Alex Cunningham of “mischief-making” for being unable to offer quantified UK-based evidence of the health hazards.

    I analysed the debate transcript; there were 37 references to “evidence” and the sense depended entirely on which side of the debate the MP was aligned. There were three speakers ‘for’ and six ‘against’ the abolition of lead shot ammunition, most of the latter declaring their interests in the shooting business. It was absolutely clear that those against the motion cared more for their constituent’s right to use lead ammunition than any associated risks to their constituent’s health. The Minister of State sat firmly on his hands, reporting that Defra was still carefully considering the long-delayed and partial LAG report. I have personally never seen a clearer example of the stranglehold that the shooting lobby has over the heart of government.

    There were also grossly misleading claims of the financial contribution of shooting to the UK economy that went unchallenged, but that is another subject.

  2. Perhaps the persistence of lead in the game that has been shot, and then eaten by the shooters, might explain some of the decision making by those in power who shoot?
    It would be an interesting and relatively small dataset to compare with known national averages of lead presence. Doubt those concerned would consent 🙁

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