The African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement was signed in November 1999 and was a binding agreement. Under the terms of this agreement governments are obliged to phase out the use of lead shot over wetlands. The way in which this is implemented is a matter for government. In England the regulations on lead shot are clear, lead shot is banned when shooting over all foreshore, specific SSSIâ€™s and for the shooting of all waterfowl. The Welsh Assembly introduced similar regulations in 2002.
In Scotland and Northern Ireland the rules are different.
Scotlandâ€™s lead shot ban is habitat based. This legislation bans the use of lead on or over wetlands and took effect on the 31st March 2005. Wetlands are defined by article 1 (1) of the Ramsar Convention.
â€œWetlands are areas of marsh, fen, peatland, or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters.â€
Politicians are now actively considering the complete ban of lead shot, due to a reported low level of compliance with current legislation. A new website (www.leadshotcampaign.org.uk)Â has been lunched to allow the shooting community to show their commitment to uphold the laws on lead shot. This campaign is supported by country sports organisations and will collect electronic signatures of support. According to BASC four thousand signatures have been added in the first three days of the website being launched.