Lead is a perfect projectile for ammunition, in both bullets and shot, because it is dense, soft and heavy. However, it also poses a risk to wildlife, particularly waterbirds. The Countryside Alliance is fully supportive of the ban on lead shot over wetlands that is currently legislated for in the UK.
As the current available evidence on the toxicity of lead ammunition stands, the Countryside Alliance does not accept the requirement for further restrictions. The risks that have been identified are already legislated for and can be mitigated against with proportionate measures. In addition, we recognise that there is no identical substitute for lead, and in many instances no substitute at all.
The Countryside Alliance will fight for the continued use of lead ammunition for as long as it is shown that the costs of changing to an alternative material outweigh the risks when mitigated for. It is essential that UK shooters abide by the current legislation on the use of lead shot over wetlands. The continual lack of compliance is a weak chink in our amour, and we call for further enforcement to strengthen the legislation.
Accepting that there are risks to the use of lead ammunition the Countryside Alliance welcomes all research and development into alternatives to help secure the future of shooting.
If you would like any further information on the topic please call the Head Office on 02078409250.