by Countryside Alliance

Secretary of State for the Environment, Liz Truss, has rejected the recommendations of the controversial Lead Ammunition Group (LAG) process and confirmed that there will be no further restrictions on the use of lead ammunition.

In a letter to LAG Chairman, John Swift, The Secretary of State has confirmed that the Food Standards Agency will not be changing its advice on the consumption of game shot with lead ammunition and notes that "the report does not provide evidence of causation linking possible impacts of lead ammunition with sizes of bird populations".  In relation to both human health and wildlife the Secretary of State is clear: "the report did not show that the impacts of lead ammunition were significant enough to justify changing current policy; we therefore do not accept your recommendation to ban the use of lead ammunition". The letter also confirms that the LAG process has now ended.

Countryside Alliance Chief Executive, Tim Bonner, said: "The LAG process has been mind-numbingly slow and increasingly controversial. So controversial in fact that half of the group resigned, unable to work with its Chairman John Swift, before LAG finally submitted its final report to Defra last year. Those resignations included that of our then Executive Chairman Barney White-Spunner who said at the time that he left because of “abuses of process and evidence that render the group’s work so flawed it can never reach any scientific conclusions”.

"We are profoundly grateful that the Alliance's position has been entirely vindicated by the Secretary of State and that she has rejected any further restrictions on the use of lead ammunition, let alone the total ban that John Swift proposed in his report.

"A ban on the use of lead ammunition would have a significant impact on the huge contribution shooting makes to conservation, to local communities and to the rural economy. From the start of this process the Countryside Alliance was, therefore, very clear that any further restrictions could only ever be justified on the basis of real, relevant scientific evidence. The painstaking work of successive Alliance representatives on LAG has revealed that evidence just does not exist."

Please click here to see the full letter from Liz Truss to John Swift

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