Leading shooting and rural organisations have today announced they want an end to the use of lead and single-use plastics in shotgun ammunition for live quarry shooting within five years.
The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), British Game Alliance (BGA) Countryside Alliance (CA), Country Land and Business Association (CLA), Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO), the Moorland Association (MA), Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) and Scottish Association for Country Sports (SACS) say significant recent advances in technology have enabled the transition to take place.
The group is calling for the support of the wider shooting community and says such a change will benefit wildlife and the environment while also safeguarding the growing market for healthy game meat.
A spokesperson said: “The shooting community must maintain its place at the forefront of conservation and environmental protection. Continued development of non-lead shot and recyclable and bio-degradable plastics means the time is right for a complete transition.
“The five-year proposal allows for a smooth transition giving both the shooting community and the industry time to adapt. As organisations that serve our members, we will be leading the way with this transition ensuring that it is successful.
“This is a significant announcement, but one the shooting community should not fear. British wildfowlers and other European countries have already moved away from lead without detriment to participation or performance.
“While tradition is important in shooting and should be defended where possible, so is evolution if we are to continue to maintain our position at the heart of the British countryside. Shooting has changed greatly over the years and this move is just the next step in that illustrious history.
“Our organisations urge the shooting community to support the Gun Trade Association and cartridge manufacturers as they further develop ammunition for every situation involving live quarry. In doing so, they will enhance the shooting community’s reputation as the rightful custodians of our countryside.”
Notes to Editors
This press release is accompanied by the joint statement and Q&A.
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow has provided the following comment for use:
“This move away from the use of lead and single-use plastics in shotgun ammunition is very welcome and I would like to applaud these organisations for coming together to reach this decision.
“It is a significant step for both wildlife and the wider environment and the government remains committed to ensuring a sustainable, mutually beneficial relationship between shooting and conservation.”