In response to the open letter written by the RSPB and WWT to the joint signatories of a statement by shooting organisations in 2020 which called for a five-year transition away from lead ammunition for game shooting, the Aim to Sustain partnership has published a letter in rebuttal, which can be found here.
The letter, published by Aim to Sustain on Tuesday 19 April, states that "the signatory organisations to this letter remain wholly committed to a transition away from lead shot for live quarry shooting and are moving our community towards change."
The letter starts:
The UK Government, through UK REACH, is currently investigating the requirement for legal restrictions on the use of lead ammunition for live quarry shooting. A public consultation is expected to be announced at the end of this month.
While we do not wish to pre-empt that process, any recommendations may well follow the EU process and move towards a statutory ban on lead ammunition alongside derogations to cover circumstances in which a total ban is not yet feasible.
While that UK REACH process is underway, the signatory organisations to this letter remain wholly committed to a transition away from lead shot for live quarry shooting and are moving our community towards change.
Indeed, as your letter illustrates, we first called for a transition away from lead shotgun ammunition for live quarry shooting in February 2020.
Since the publication of a joint statement by many of our organisations, significant progress has been made towards a transition. This is not a straightforward process. Lead has been used in shooting for hundreds of years, so wholesale change takes time.
In our opinion, a five-year transition was a reasonable, achievable timeline with completion due in 2025, only a year later than the date suggested in your letter for ending the use of lead shotgun ammunition. We are a little over two years into that voluntary transition.
You can read the letter in full here. The Countryside Alliance has also publicly responded, which you can read more about here.