The Countryside Alliance has provided an in depth response to a European consultation on the future use of lead shot over wetlands, stating firmly that there is no scientific evidence for a change from the current legislation and no requirement for further restrictions.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) consultation, requested by the European Commission, sought scientific evidence in attempt to harmonise European legislation governing shooting with non-lead shot over wetlands, potentially resulting in the differing legislation throughout the UK being standardised.

In addition, the consultation requested scientific evidence be provided on the addition of ‘peatlands’ to the current restrictions, the banning of possession of lead cartridges on or near to wetlands, and the addition of buffer zones around wetlands in which the restriction will apply.

 

Jack Knott, Campaigns Manager for the Countryside Alliance, said: “The consultation requests scientific evidence in order to change or further restrict the current legislation; we have made it explicitly clear that there is no such evidence. The Countryside Alliance will not accept the addition of peatlands to the legislation, which will have a grave impact on those shooting grouse in the UK, nor the addition of buffer zones or any of the other proposals, without being provided with the evidence that these restrictions will reduce the risk of lead exposure to wildfowl.

“ECHA’s focus should be applied to the enforcement of the current legislation, not the implementation of further impractical restrictions. With enforcement comes compliance, as seen among UK wildfowlers, and the rest of the shooting community need to act on this fine example.

“Hard or soft Brexit notwithstanding, the ECHA consultation is a major threat to the future use of lead shot in the UK and the Countryside Alliance will continue to be at the forefront of the discussions. We will not pander to those that seek to unfairly restrict lead shot in an attempt to restrict shooting.”