Inaccurate and alarmist reports have appeared in the shooting press and on email concerning BASC’s position on lead ammunition. They misrepresent BASC’s position and the current situation.
BASC would like to take the opportunity to put the record straight.
The facts of the matter are:
- BASC is firmly opposed to any unwarranted attempts to further restrict lead shot.
- All other shooting organisations support this position.
- BASC and all other shooting organisations agree that the shooting community must be involved in discussions on the future of lead ammunition. Not to be involved is to lose our voice and influence.
- All the shooting organisations have been discussing the latest evidence on lead shot for some time.
- All the shooting organisations agree that shooting should be involved in the lead ammunition advisory group being established by DEFRA to examine scientific evidence on the use of lead ammunition in the UK.
- All the main shooting organisations are supportive of John Swift, the CEO of BASC, taking the Chair.
- The shooting organisations form the largest group on the lead ammunition advisory group. They include BASC, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Gun Trade Association and the Countryside Alliance. Other organisations will be asked to contribute in specialist areas.
The natural conclusion from this is that shooting is well represented and is united on this issue.
What does this mean for the future of lead ammunition in the UK?
Defra has chosen the lowest level of committee, unofficial and industry-driven, to give advice.
- No political party in the UK has any plans to further restrict lead shot.
- The current position of the Food Standards Agency is that the consumption of shot game is not sufficient in the UK to become a public health issue.
- There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that some birds can be poisoned by feeding on shot animals or taking up lead shot as grit.
- The group has been asked to assess the relevance of research for the UK and give advice after a year.
- A sweeping lead ban will not happen in the foreseable future.
You can read John Swift’s Article on this issue for the next edition of Sporting Gun here: http://www.basc.org.uk/filemanager/root/site_assets/media/pdf/april_2010_lead_ammunition_group.pdf