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Alliance welcomes proposal of five-year transition period away from lead shot

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published its long-awaited draft Agency Opinion in response to the Consultation on restricting the use of lead in ammunition, which closed in November 2022. The delay in its publication was due to the 2,759 responses to the Consultation, which included many detailed and technical submissions, that HSE duly needed to work through; a figure nine times greater than that of a similar exercise conducted in Europe.

This draft Opinion proposes the following restrictions:

  • A ban on the sale and use of lead shotgun cartridges for live quarry and target shooting, with an exception for internationally competing target shooters.
  • A ban on lead rifle ammunition for outdoor target shooting, unless at a range with appropriate risk management measures.
  • No restriction on lead rifle ammunition for live quarry shooting.
  • No restriction on lead rifle ammunition for indoor target shooting.
  • No restriction on lead airgun ammunition.

HSE proposes a five-year transition period for the sale and use of lead shotgun cartridges. This five-year period would start from the moment the proposed restriction enters into force, which is unlikely to be before early-mid 2024 at the earliest.

This is an excellent outcome for the shooting community, the Countryside Alliance having fought for a five-year transition period for the sale and use of lead shotgun cartridges, and opposing the 18 months previously proposed by HSE. We are delighted that sense appears to have prevailed. A two-year transition is proposed for the prohibition of lead rifle ammunition for outdoor target shooting. 

HSE has now opened a public socio-economic consultation on its draft Opinion. The consultation has multiple aims, one of which is to gather information with a view to potentially shorten the proposed five-year transition period. We will be responding to this consultation and will publish our response on our website. The consultation, which closes at midnight on 10 December 2023, can be completed online here, and we encourage as many as possible to complete it.

HSE’s full draft Agency Opinion can be read here.

To be alerted to the Countryside Alliance’s response to HSE’s socio-economic consultation, please sign up to our Campaign for Shooting newsletter

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