The Countryside Alliance has welcomed a decision taken at the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) in Quito last week to allow countries to make their own decisions on whether to phase out of lead ammunition. The ‘Guidelines to Prevent the Risk of Migratory Birds’ now state: “it is for each Party to determine whether or how to implement the phase out of lead ammunition”. Tim Bonner, Countryside Alliance Director of Campaigns, said: “We are very glad that an attempt to get the CMS to advise all parties to implement a blanket ban on lead shot has failed.
“There is no evidence of any migratory species, other from wildfowl, being affected by lead ammunition in the UK. We already have restrictions on the use of lead shot over wetlands and for the shooting of wildfowl. The Alliance, other UK shooting organisations and our European representative body FACE maintain the position that there should be no further restrictions without scientific justification and have worked hard to avert binding guidance.
“We fully accept the current restrictions on the use of lead over wetlands and for shooting wildfowl and continue to campaign for 100% compliance. However, the Alliance believes in legislation based on evidence and principle which is why we oppose a ban on all lead ammunition.
“We are therefore keen for further studies to take place and welcome the work completed by the CMS and other institutes, such as the Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme, that look into the impact of lead ammunition.”