UK public consultation on lead ammunition - have your say before 10th December

Help us achieve a ban on the use of lead ammunition in hunting and outdoor sports shooting in Great Britain by submitting your views to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) public consultation by 10 December 2023.

By adding your voice, you can help stop the needless use of this deadly poison which pollutes the environment and is a serious risk to some of our most iconic wildlife, pets and people. Lead has been banned from most other areas of our lives, it’s now time to eliminate it from our countryside. You can find out more about the issue and our work tackling lead ammunition here.

HSE has invited comments on their Opinion document which focuses on the socio-economic aspects. We need your help to get this over the line! Please follow the steps below to submit any concerns, experiences or information you have about the impact of lead ammunition on health (both wildlife, pets and humans), your community and local countryside and livelihoods.

Perhaps you have positive experiences using non-toxic ammunition alternatives and feel a ban on lead would benefit you or your business. Personal accounts and experiences always have the most impact. Even if your response is very brief, it will still help. Or maybe you just agree with us - WWT has worked on this issue seeing all perspectives for decades. We've listed our views further down this page.

What you need to do

To submit your views on the consultation (formally named Annex15 restriction dossier) by 10 December 2023, please:

  1. Add your details on Page 1.
  2. If you agree with an 18 months Transition Period for lead shot phase out, please suggest this on the Transition Period question.
  3. If you agree that there is ‘value’ (economic or social) in birds of prey not being poisoned to death please suggest this on the Monetisation question.
  4. Add any other comments in the ‘General comments’ section at the end.
  5. Click on ‘continue’ until you reach the final page where you can submit your response.
Have your say

If you would also like to answer the other specific questions please do so. Note that there is no expectation to answer all of these questions – you can simply add your comments to the General Comments section instead. Submitting your views could take as little time as 5 minutes.

If you wish, you could also comment on some of the specific concerns we have around the Health and Safety Executive’s current recommendations and support what we feel they’ve got right. Please see WWT’s views below.

WWT’s response

Lead shot

1. We welcome the proposed ban on hunting with lead shot – if successful this would, at last, be the win for waterbirds WWT has been fighting for for decades

2. The suggested transition period (5 years) for phasing out hunting with lead shot is too long - this should be shortened to 18 months. Shooters originally suggested a 2025 deadline as part of their earlier voluntary ban. We support phasing out lead shot by this date

3. The process for nominating people to use lead shot for target shooting could create a dangerous and exploitable loophole

4. We are concerned that target shooters can shoot anywhere in the countryside with lead shot depositing toxic pellets for wildlife to consume

Lead bullets

5. We are deeply concerned that there is currently no restriction proposed for hunting with lead bullets given risks to people and wildlife

6. We are equally concerned that there is no evaluation of the value and benefits of a ban on hunting with lead bullets in the proposal despite some of the UK’s rarest wildlife being at risk such as white-tailed eagles

7. We are seriously concerned about the vague requirements for clean-up at shooting ranges as we know run-off from these areas of high lead deposition contaminate soils and waterways

Airgun pellets

8. We are concerned that there is no restriction proposal for lead airgun pellets when we have seen swans poisoned by these toxic pellets

Thank you for being part of this important process of consigning lead ammunition and its poisoning to history.

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