“LAG” warns of lead ammo ef­fect

Un­sanc­tioned by Gov­ern­ment, an un­of­fi­cial group is at­tempt­ing to sen­sa­tion­alise the ef­fects of lead am­mu­ni­tion on birds and peo­ple

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - FRONT PAGE -

an un­of­fi­cial body call­ing it­self the lead am­mu­ni­tion group (lag) has pub­lished a re­port that sen­sa­tion­alises the num­ber of birds af­fected by lead am­mu­ni­tion and its ef­fect on the hu­man pop­u­la­tion.

the au­then­tic lag was cre­ated by de­fra and de­liv­ered a study in 2016, with con­clu­sions that were con­sid­ered and then re­jected by the gov­ern­ment. the then de­fra sec­re­tary stated that this re­jec­tion “marked the end of the group”.

the un­recog­nised lag does not re­port to de­fra nor ful­fil the mis­sion of the orig­i­nal lag. It is a lobby group cam­paign­ing against lead am­mu­ni­tion and spread­ing con­clu­sions that go beyond cur­rent sci­ence. the dis­tor­tions are con­tained in a pa­per called the lead am­mu­ni­tion re­port.

com­ment­ing on the coverage re­ceived by the pa­per, the coun­try­side al­liance’s shoot­ing cam­paigns man­ager Jack knott said: “the Uk al­ready has strict leg­is­la­tion which pro­hibits the use of lead shot for the shoot­ing of wild­fowl and over wet­lands, and re­mains well ahead of many other euro­pean coun­tries in re­strict­ing the use of lead am­mu­ni­tion. this is sig­nif­i­cant be­cause most species of wild­fowl are mi­gra­tory and visit a num­ber of coun­tries dur­ing mi­gra­tion to and from the Uk.

“the pa­per posits 400,000 wild­fowl suf­fer lead poi­son­ing every year — this has been ex­trap­o­lated from coun­tries that have yet to re­strict lead shot over wet­lands and from data col­lected be­fore re­stric­tions were put in place in the Uk. the pa­per suggests th­ese birds are worth £16mil­lion, gen­er­ated from the ex­pected cost of rear­ing the 400,000 wild­fowl.

“With re­gards to the­o­rised pop­u­la­tion-level im­pacts on red kites and buz­zards, both are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing un­prece­dented pop­u­la­tion booms and a huge amount of shoot­ing money is be­ing put into con­serv­ing the grey par­tridge.

“the con­ser­va­tion of the pochard is of con­cern to us all, but we should note that it is a clas­sic mi­gra­tory species which spends much of its life in coun­tries with no re­stric­tions on lead shot.

“the al­liance thinks it is im­por­tant to note that at least 55mil­lion birds are killed an­nu­ally in the Uk by cats, yet the rspb claims this has no pop­u­la­tion-level im­pact. even if the 400,000 fig­ure is taken at face value, th­ese num­bers would sug­gest that the ef­fects of lead am­mu­ni­tion are ir­rel­e­vant by com­par­i­son to the 55mil­lion birds killed by cats.”

“Ef­fects of lead are ir­rel­e­vant, given num­bers killed by cats”

use of lead shot is al­ready banned for shoot­ing over wet­lands in the uk

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