William Powell Country

Lead Ammunition: Update


Article written by 19 August 2016

No further restrictions on lead ammunition ban.

Considerable progress has been made on the lead shot ban with no further action to be taken by the Government over the banning of lead ammunition in the UK.

Just before her move, the then Secretary of State, Liz Truss, has rejected the recommendations put forward by the Lead Ammunition group (LAG). The LAG had recommended a complete ban on the use of lead ammunition in their report, which was submitted in June 2015. This has been rejected by Liz Truss along with any further restrictions being put on the use of lead ammunition.

Lead ammunition has already been banned on all foreshores, certain SSSIs and for the shooting of all ducks, geese, coot and moorhen.

The report submitted by the LAG has been both slow and highly controversial, so much so that half of the group resigned with Barney White-Spunner leaving due to “abuses of process and evidence that render the groups work so flawed it can never reach any scientific conclusions”.

In a letter sent to the LAG chairman, John Swift (who was extremely controversial and despite being executive director of BASC, the organisation completely disowned his report), the Secretary of State has also confirmed that the Food Standards Agency has sought independent scientific advice about lead-shot game and the risk to human health. Their advice has not changed after the LAG report has been released with the advice remaining the same from 2012. They advise:

‘To minimise the risk of lead intake, people who frequently eat lead-shot game, particularly small game, should cut down their consumption. This advice is especially important for vulnerable groups such as toddlers and children, pregnant women and women trying for a baby’.

The letter from Liz Truss says the report submitted by the LAG does not provide any evidence of causation linking possible impacts of lead ammunition with sizes of bird populations in England, with regards to the impact of lead ammunition on wildlife. For human health and wildlife, the report did not show that the impacts of lead ammunition were significant enough to justify changing current policy.

The letter also confirms that the Lead Ammunition Group is at an end.

In a recent statement, Amanda Anderson of the Moorland Association has said “We welcome the Government decision to not impose further restrictions on the use of lead ammunition. Decisions of this nature should always be based on firm evidence. As the FSA have confirmed, there is no evidence to back up a ban on lead shot and as such no change should be made. Red grouse is a wild, delicious and healthy meat that even the keenest game eaters consume infrequently and poses no threat to human health.”

For more information on shotgun cartridges please read:

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