Government reviews phasing out lead ammunition

26 March 2021

Lead ammunition could be phased out under government plans to help protect wildlife and nature, it was announced earlier this week.

As a large volume of lead ammunition is discharged every year over the countryside, the government is now considering a ban under the UK’s new chemical regulation system – UK REACH. It has requested an official review of the evidence with a public consultation in due course.

Responding to the announcement, CLA Deputy President Mark Tufnell said:

“The shooting sector has recognised that there needs to be a transition to non-toxic shot for game shooting and recommended a five-year period to allow the cartridge manufacturers to change over a year ago. A number of manufacturers have already launched updated non-toxic shot with biodegradable plastic wads onto the market.

“Shooting on the foreshore with lead shot was banned in 1999, along with the shooting of ducks and geese with lead ammunition. A full consultation is to be welcomed and all the relevant scientific evidence can be properly assessed.”

The CLA were among shooting and rural organisations which announced last year they wanted an end to the use of lead and single-use plastics in shotgun ammunition for live quarry shooting by 2025.

The Environment Agency, together with the Health and Safety Executive, will now start a two-year process to review the evidence, conduct a public consultation and propose options for restrictions.