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A study into the transition from lead shot

A recent study by the University of Cambridge has found that the voluntary phase out of lead shot has so far had little effect. This should come as little surprise. It must not be forgotten that the phase out, announced in 2020, was to be by 2025, and we are therefore only two years into that five-year transition period; a period during which we have had to live with the Covid pandemic.

Cartridge manufacturers have been under immense pressure due to disrupted global logistics supply chains and commodity shortages caused by Covid-19 restrictions, and this, along with the additional complexity of manufacturing cartridges with non-lead loads and biodegradable wads, helps explain why the transition away from lead shot has been slower than might have been expected. It is unfortunate that these important factors have been totally ignored by the authors of the paper.

An ever-increasing number of people are using those non-lead cartridges with biodegradable wads that are now available on the market, finding them to be effective. This, combined with demand by game dealers for game that has not been shot with lead, should result in very different picture at the end of next season.

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