British shooting and country land management organisations have come together to launch a campaign to remind individuals to comply with the law on the use of lead shot. In England it has been illegal to use lead shot over all foreshore, specified Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and for the shooting of all wildfowl wherever they occur, since 1999; and in Wales since 2004. In Scotland and Northern Ireland it is illegal to use lead shot over wetlands.
Although compliance is strong around the coast where wildfowling clubs regulate their members, evidence from other studies suggests regular non-compliance by some inland duck shoots in England and Wales. Organisations, which include the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, the Country Land and Business Association, the Countryside Alliance, the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Moorland Association, the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation and the Union of Country Sports Workers, are concerned that this might encourage moves towards further restrictions on the use of lead shot. The campaign is therefore being run to remind all those who shoot of their responsibilities before the duck and goose shooting season opens on the 1st September. The organisations will be working through the umbrella organisation FACE UK, which represents shooting in Europe.
BASC chief executive Richard Ali said: “Everyone who shoots has a responsibility to obey the law. This is especially important for shoot owners, managers and keepers to bear in mind when they organise duck shooting.”
Barney White-Spunner, executive chairman of the Countryside Alliance said: “The improper use of lead shot should not be tolerated, and compliance with current legislation is essential if there are not to be further restrictions on the use of lead shot for shooting game in the United Kingdom."
To read a joint statement from all organisations click here