Opinion Former Article

BASC stands against new EU restrictions on lead shot

BASC will fight the European Union’s latest restrictions on lead shot to ensure the UK’s five-year voluntary transition to sustainable ammunition is not impeded.

BASC has described the EU’s restrictions, which were voted through today (3 September), as ‘utterly unenforceable’ and a risk to the voluntary transition taken forward by the main shooting organisations and supported by Defra.

The EU REACH committee voted for a restriction of lead shot over wetlands that when enacted would see a buffer zone of 100m around any body of water, no matter the size, and all peatlands.

The regulation will now be put forward for approval and ratified at the latest by the beginning of 2021. It will then take effect at the beginning of 2023 in EU member states.

The UK government may decide to adopt the regulation in 2023 depending on how it decides to legislate for REACH related laws. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland already have restrictions in place to mitigate the impact of lead shot on water birds.

Dr Matt Ellis, BASC’s head of science and chair of the FACE ammunition working group, said: “We are supportive of the current legislation in the UK regarding the use of lead shot over wetlands. The new EU restrictions are utterly unenforceable and places shooters at risk of criminality if they fail to spot a puddle in the field. No side should be celebrating bad law. BASC will be lobbying the UK government not to adopt this regulation.

“This is a clear sign of the EU’s intent with regards to restricting the use of lead, and with a full lead shot restriction next on the agenda, the pressure has never been higher.

“All our actions are focused on ensuring that moves in Europe do not compromise the UK shooting community’s plans for a five-year transition to sustainable ammunition and future.”


Notes to Editors:
BASC blog - Voting shelved on Europe-wide lead shot ban
BASC Press Release: Defra issues statement in response to lead ammunition announcement

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