by James W Aris

In view of the ‘overwhelming response’ to the Consultation on restricting the use of lead in ammunition, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has today announced that it will be delaying the planned publication of its opinions and response by six months.

The agency received 2,759 responses, including many detailed and technical submissions that it says ‘need to be worked through’. This figure is nine times that of a similar exercise conducted in Europe which also saw a six-month extension.

The Countryside Alliance responded in full to the consultation, which ended in November 2022. We concluded that given the clear implications the proposed 18-month transition period would have on the UK shooting industry as set out in the Annex 15 restriction dossier, both in reference to shotgun and rifle ammunition, all calibres and shot, excluding air rifle pellets, should be subject to a transition period of no less than 5 years. The socio-economic impact consultation that was due to be launched next month has alos been delayed until July 23. 

Within its announcement, the HSE has indicated that after an initial review of the responses, ‘alternative risk management options (including alternative derogations) may need to be considered’, and that it is working with external specialists to understand the technical information that has been submitted. The agency is also further engaging with interested parties to refine any derogation proposals.

The Countryside Alliance welcomes the fact that the HSE is taking its time to fully understand the issue to which they may propose legislation. It is hoped that having concluded its review, the Agency’s response is based on science and the evidence that has been provided, and that its proposals are both proportionate, and practical.

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