A labour-backed Environment Bill amendment supporting a two-year phase out of all lead shot has been voted down in Parliament.

Defra minister Rebecca Pow said the amendment – led by Fleur Anderson MP – was unnecessary following an announcement by shooting organisations of a voluntary transition away from lead shot for game shooting during the next five years.

In responding, the minister said: “…the new clause falls short of what shooting organisations are calling for. Organisations such as BASC, the Moorland Association and various other countryside organisations—I engaged with a lot of them as a back bencher—are calling for an end within five years to both lead and single-use plastics. They are talking about it seriously.

“It is critical Government takes the right level of action through measures that are underpinned by evidence, as always, and informed by further conversations with stakeholders. I am not sure that the hon. Lady’s proposal necessarily does that.”

Caroline Bedell, BASC’s executive director of conservation, said: “We welcome the government’s continued support and backing of the five-year transition away from lead shot for game shooting. It is essential that the shooting community is given the time and space to move over to non-lead shot.

“Disrupting the voluntary transition by enforcing unnecessary legislation would disrupt the market, community, and all the indirect benefits shooting brings to the economy and the environment.

“BASC has briefed MPs on the topic and as this amendment is likely to reappear at later stages of the Environment Bill. We will continue to work closely with supportive MPs to ensure our voluntary transition and shooting are unimpeded.”

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