A group is being brought together to advise Defra and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on issues connected with the use of lead ammunition. The group will consult widely and convene a range of sub-groups involving relevant stakeholders and experts to assist its work. Defra will provide the secretariat and arrangements are being made for a first meeting in April under the chairmanship of John Swift, chief executive of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).

BASC’s policy, supported unanimously by its elected council, states:  BASC will continue to oppose any unwarranted restrictions on lead shot use. Restrictions must be science-based and proportionate. Debates about possible restrictions must fully involve shooting interests

John Swift said “The aim of the Lead Ammunition Group is to bring together stakeholders from all interested parties to address a wide range of topics concerning lead ammunition. The group is tasked with identifying any significant threats as well as any perceived threats that are not significant. The group is to advise on options for managing any risks, knowledge gaps and communication issues. It is essential that the sub-groups are as inclusive as possible and balanced and fair in their investigations and findings. At the end of the first year a written progress report will be submitted to Defra and FSA. Our scope is limited to England but the devolved administrations will be kept informed and FSA has a UK-wide remit.

The Lead Ammunition Group will be made up of representatives covering shooting, conservation, the gun trade, animal welfare, the rural economy, land use and food health and hygiene.

John Swift said “No political party has proposals to further limit the use of lead ammunition. This is an advisory process which will in due course feed into the formulation of future policy after consideration of all the evidence. Defra has initiated the process, but it will be led by stakeholders and we must all ensure that work goes forward on a sound footing.”    ENDS

Notes to editors:
The working group will include representatives drawn from BASC, the Gun Trade Association, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Countryside Alliance, the RSPB, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, the Universities’ Federation for Animal Welfare, the Institute for Environmental Health, and the Food Standards Agency. Other organisations and experts will be included in specialist subgroups.

For more information please call the BASC press office on 01244 573031

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