Don’t ignore the science on lead, BASC says

BASC cartridgesIN response to John Swift’s blog on Mark Avery’s website regarding lead ammunition, BASC has highlighted the science which supports its continued use. This follows Defra’s decision to rule out a ban despite a recommendation to do so from a rump of the Defra-sponsored Lead Ammunition Group (LAG).

LAG continues as a lobby group for campaigners – some of whom are anti-shooting. In her letter to John Swift, Liz Truss, then Secretary of State for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said that, with the group’s report, LAG’s existence was at an end.

BASC continues to believe that risks should be managed and that any risk from lead ammunition can be mitigated by complying with current laws, following the advice of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and by proper processing of game meat. For these reasons, neither Defra nor the FSA are proposing a ban.

Dr Matt Ellis, BASC’s scientific advisor, said: “BASC’s policy has always been no sound evidence, no change. There is no scientific evidence of population-level impacts outside of wetlands and we believe the current legislation effectively and proportionately targets risk.

“There is no need to change the law. What the science tells us is that we must comply with legislation, follow official advice on consumption and process game meat effectively.”

BASC chairman Peter Glenser said: “Government has examined the evidence and, quite properly, taken time for analysis before producing a considered response which says that the impacts of lead ammunition do not justify changing current policy.

“Risks are there to be managed, which is why we use seat-belts rather than banning cars, and have banned smoking in enclosed public spaces rather than banning tobacco. The use of lead ammunition is effectively managed by current laws and advice. The fact of the matter is – and, crucially, government agrees – there is no need to go any further.”

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