The Executive Chairman of the Countryside Alliance, Sir Barney White-Spunner, has resigned from the Lead Ammunition Group (LAG) in protest at “abuses of process and evidence that render the group’s work so flawed it can never reach any scientific conclusions”. The LAG was set up under the Labour Government in 2010 at the behest of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and the RSPB, on the back of scientific evidence from America, to advise Defra on any risks to wildlife, human health and livestock from the use of lead ammunition, and how to mitigate them. It has not yet produced a report. Sir Barney White-Spunner, Executive Chairman of the Countryside Alliance has served on the LAG since 2013 and represents the shooting community on the group.
Sir Barney said: “The Chairman circulated a draft Lead Ammunition Group Report in April in which the majority of the group had no part in drafting. That document is very far from a reflection of the LAG’s discussions and draws incorrect conclusions from that evidence which the LAG has agreed. More seriously, many of those conclusions are based on evidence that the LAG has simply not agreed and were presented to the rest of the group as a fait accompli.
“I have submitted 172 detailed comments of evidence and process on the Chairman’s draft report and I cannot continue to serve as the representative of the shooting community on the LAG due to my profound disagreement with the way process has been conducted. However, neither I nor the Countryside Alliance will be walking away from this issue. Given the failure of the LAG process we will be consulting with the shooting community, other representative shooting groups and public bodies as to the best way to proceed.”
For more information, contact the press office on 0207 840 9220 or email Countryside Alliance head of media Charlotte Cooper at [email protected].