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Legal push to ban lead shot sooner defeated.

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Background

A recent legal push to ban lead shot in the next 2 years has been deemed “unnecessary”. A labour lead directive was calling for lead shot to be banned within the next 2 years. The committee deliberated this and other issues over the last 9 months. Ultimately this part of the directive fell flat and we will continue with our 5 year plan.

You can read the minutes from this meeting however ill warn you, they are extensive. The body of the argument stated that lead shot is sufficiently dangerous to need banning sooner than the 5 year timeline. While the shooting community agrees in part, the danger to human health isn’t shared. There are plenty of people who consume game regularly with no adverse effects.

Lead and steel shot cartridge

Result

Pleasingly for the shooting community, this proposed legislation wasn’t as thorough as what we proposed. The proposed legislation makes no mention of the single use plastics like wad and cartridge case. They also concluded that a 2 year window wouldn’t be sufficient for manufactures to adapt. With the Manufacturers leading this change as proposed last spring the cartridges will be far more successful.

Frustratingly, the opposition pose the success in Denmark without siting the failures in Norway. The Lead ban in Norway was reversed in 2015 after finding the shortcomings of steel were too great. This included an increase to the number of wounded animals and the damage to the meat failed to meet commercial grade. While improvements have been made, its clear that rushing into a lead ban without considering resulting consequences isn’t advisable.

Thankfully, DEFRA have refuted this initial push but undoubtedly there will be another attempt. The introduction of this ban will need to be steady. Wildlife and shooters will pay the price should a knee jerk decision be made on lead shot. In 5 years time we will see the industry names adopt practices from other Nations. The US almost exclusively use Steel shot without inflating the cartridge price. Whether we will see an influx of semi autos we will wait and see.

Lead shot shotgun cartridge

Conclusion

The Countryside Alliance and BASC have both praised DEFRA for working with them to come to this conclusion. In recent times this collaborative work has been difficult to come by but hopefully this will continue. While the topic about Lead vs Steel will rumble on for some time, 5 years is certainly better than 2.

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