The RSPB and lead ammunition

The RSPB’s statements at the weekend have wrapped up within them a return to a publicly prominent position on lead ammunition. This must partly be because Debbie Pain is now an RSPB Council member. Since Debbie and I (in our previous existences) wrote to the Labour ministers in 2009 calling for a review of the environmental impacts of lead ammunition the RSPB has been rather quiet on the subject, failing miserably, as did WWT, to back, in any meaningful way, calls for a ban on lead ammunition. The RSPB has had a policy of wanting lead to be phased out (aka banned) for years but has been utterly limp in pressing this point.

Since Saturday, the lead issue is centre stage again – see RSPB Chair, Kevin Cox’s statement of RSPB position;

we believe that new laws backed up by tougher enforcement will be needed to end … the use of lead ammunition

And that statement by the Chair of Council will ‘guide the RSPB’s future advocacy and communications’.

If I were Rob Sheldon, who set up the last UK e-petition calling for a ban on lead ammunition in 2016, I’d be writing to the RSPB asking how they would like the next petition to be worded in order to gain their unequivocal and enthusiastic support…

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4 Replies to “The RSPB and lead ammunition”

  1. Shouldn't Rob also be writing to the shooting organisations for their help with his petition, as they seemed quite keen on phasing out lead shot not that long ago?!

    1. BowlandBetty - nice name, you are a phoenix? Indeed he should, I'd save that for the second approach if I were him though.

    2. A name Betty should be familiar with is that of Mark Cunliffe-Lister, the custodian of the moors where Bowland Betty died in 2012, and now chair of the Moorland Attritionists, sorry Association, who in response to the new RSPB policy said " “The call for licensing of driven grouse shooting and the threat of a possible ban in future is both disproportionate and unnecessary.
      “Licensing of grouse shooting would add another expensive layer of bureaucracy that would not resolve wildlife crime and environmental issues that are already being addressed with real vigour.
      “Grouse moor operators are heavily involved in the restoration of key habitats such as blanket bog and the protection of at-risk species including curlew, lapwing and indeed hen harriers where we have seen a record increase this year."
      Do they really expect us to swallow this guff, what bloody regulation are they currently subject to, other than shooting seasons, an unenforced burning code and the laws we are all supposedly subject to? As to record increase in harriers it was shown many years ago that without persecution Hen Harrier populations would increase by 13% per annum until a new natural equilibrium was reached.


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