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The Countryside Alliance has responded to the socio-economic consultation on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) draft Agency Opinion, which contains draft proposals on the restriction of the use of lead in ammunition.
It is important that as many people as possible respond to this consultation, which closes on 10 December 2023. We encourage all those able to respond, to do so here.
You can read the Alliance’s response in full here.
You can also read a summary of the proposals in HSE’s draft Agency Opinion here.
The draft Agency Opinion which HSE published last month proposes a total ban on lead shot, for both game shooting and clay pigeon shooting, with a derogation for internationally competing clay shots. This ban is proposed to come into force after a 5-year transition period. The socio-economic consultation is looking for evidence to reduce that transition period from 5 years down to 3 years or similar. As can be read in our full response, the Alliance considers the 5-year transition period to be the minimum necessary to allow cartridge manufacturers to meet the total demand for non-lead cartridges. Less than 5 years would endanger shooting businesses for a variety of reasons, detailed in our full response.
The Alliance remains committed to promoting a full, timely and voluntary transition away from the use of lead shot, which is essential for the sustainability and reputation of game shooting. A minority of the lead shot currently used in shotgun ammunition is produced for and used in game shooting. Since the announcement in February 2020 by several organisations with an interest in game shooting, including the Alliance, calling for a voluntary transition away from the use of lead shot, many viable and affordable non-lead cartridges have come to the market. There has also been rapid development of biodegradable shot-cups and wads, which are essential in keeping plastics out of the countryside. The Alliance encourages all game shooters to do their bit to move to alternatives to lead shot as soon as they possibly can. The early adoption and use of lead alternatives like steel and bismuth gives shooting a brighter future.