Taking the lead on lead shot
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I would like to bring your attention to the issue of lead in ammunition which is currently the subject of investigation by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), to which the Countryside Alliance have responded, which is likely to be discussed in Europe imminently.

The United Kingdom, like some other European countries, has already restricted the use of lead shot over wetlands as part of our obligations under the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA). Campaigners in the UK and Europe are now suggesting that there should be further restrictions on the use of lead shot on both environmental and human health grounds.
There is, however, absolutely no evidence that the use of lead shot outside wetlands has any environmental impact and there is likewise no evidence of any impact on human health. In the UK Defra has set up a ‘Lead Ammunition Group’ to review scientific research and advise government.

The United Kingdom has a very long tradition of shotgun shooting and has led the world in the development of the sporting shotgun. It is estimated that nearly 1 million people take part in shooting sports in the United Kingdom, from informal shoots to Olympic competition. Game shooting is worth £1.6 billion to the British economy and supports nearly 70,000 full time jobs, many in remote rural areas. Shooting also contributes nearly 2.7 million man days on conservation of the British countryside every year.

A ban on lead in ammunition could have a serious negative effect on the shooting industry because most of the guns made by the historic British gun makers, and many from abroad, are unsuitable for use with economically comparative alternatives to lead. Alternatives to lead with comparative ballistic capability can cost up to 10 times more.

The UK also has a unique game shooting tradition with a much greater focus on inland shooting than other European countries and a far larger number of birds being shot on driven shoots. As such, if the use of lead shot is to be further curtailed, it would have a disproportionate affect on shooting in the United Kingdom compared to other European countries.

We therefore urge you to support shooting in the United Kingdom by preventing any European Legislation which would affect this.

Yours sincerely