Concerns remain over the unintended consequences of the Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Bill on rough shooting and field trials, says BASC.
New HSE consultation launched on lead ammunition
Following a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) consultation in 2022, the revised restriction proposals for the outdoor recreational use of lead ammunition in England, Wales and Scotland are as follows:
- Lead airgun pellets – no restrictions proposed.
- Lead shot for live quarry and target shooting – proposed ban within five years or less, depending on consultation outcome.
Rifle ammunition for live quarry shooting – no restrictions proposed, but this could change depending on consultation outcome.
Rifle ammunition for target shooting – can continue on approved ranges where mitigation measures for lead removal are in place, with a two-year grace period.
The above proposals are subject to a HSE public consultation which opened this week and will run for 60 days, closing on 10 December 2023. You can find a brief explanation of each proposal below:
Lead airgun pellets
It is positive news that the previous proposal to restrict the outdoor use of lead airgun pellets has been dropped and there are now no restrictions proposed within the current consultation. BASC pushed hard on this issue, submitting two technical reports to evidence our call for the proposals to be removed.
Lead shot for live quarry and target shooting
The consultation proposes a ban within five years or less, depending on the consultation outcome.
BASC’s position is that clay pigeon shooting with lead shot could continue where grounds have the correct risk measures in place, and they can ensure lead removal, as per the HSE guidance for target shooting with rifles.
BASC continues to support the voluntary transition away from lead shot and single use plastics in shotgun ammunition for live quarry shooting. As such, we believe that further regulation is not required in this area.
In any case, BASC will be recommending to the HSE that any transition time for cartridges used in live quarry shooting must take into account the world shortage of components due to the war in Ukraine, and the need for manufacturers and assemblers to source new machinery to produce steel cartridges with biodegradable wads.
Rifle ammunition for live quarry shooting
No restrictions are proposed currently, but this could change depending on consultation outcome. The evidence of secondary poisoning through rifle ammunition is not conclusive and if restrictions were put in place, it would be a precautionary measure.
Rifle ammunition for target shooting
Under the proposals, the use of lead ammunition could continue at approved ranges where mitigation measures for lead removal are in place, with a two-year grace period allowing alternative ranges to adapt.
How to respond to the consultation
The online survey form that the HSE has provided for consultation responses contains mostly technical and confusing questions. Instead, you can submit your response via the general comments section at the end of the HSE survey response form. If you would like to write more than the word limit of 2,500 characters then you can upload your comments as a Word document.