There is a body of evidence presented in the restriction dossier about the impacts of lead on human health. Sub-lethal effects include neurotoxicity, kidney effects including renal disease and cardiovascular effects. Although the evidence does not directly or solely attribute lead ammunition as a cause, either through primary or secondary exposure. Lead is a ‘zero-threshold’ neurotoxin, which evidence show has impacts on the IQ of children and ‘in-utero’ impacts on the developing foetus.
Dietary exposure to lead in game meat is an exposure pathway for humans, and it is clear from the evidence presented by HSE that existing meat processing practices cannot eliminate all lead contamination from game meat. It is for these evidenced reasons that HSE are seeking to eliminate the risk of lead contamination in game meat reaching the human food chain.
The size of ammunition used means that HSE do not consider primary exposure of lead rifle ammunition to birds to be a risk.
We do not consider the evidence presented by HSE in the restriction dossier of secondary exposure to birds from lead ammunition to be conclusive. Based on the presented evidence, we do not consider restrictions related to this potential exposure pathway to be necessary or proportionate.