Lead shot poisoning – latest

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WWT has welcomed a campaign launched by eleven organisations across the , game and land management industries for all shooters to comply with regulations on the use of lead shot. Most lead shot misses its target and is left scattered on the ground where swans, ducks, geese and other birds easily mistake it for food or the grit they ingest to grind food in their gizzards. The birds can become emaciated and lose their ability to walk and fly. 1 in 3 live wildfowl tested by WWT had lead poisoning while nearly 1 in 10 dead birds tested had died from it.

(c) Otto de Vries

Studies in 2010 showed 69 per cent of shot duck sold by dealers had been illegally shot with lead, while 45 per cent of shooters surveyed said they sometimes or never complied with the law, which bans the use of lead shot over some wetlands and other circumstances.

Shooters are being asked at www.leadshotcampaign.co.uk to sign a pledge to comply with the law.

In a separate development, WWT has also welcomed a timescale which has been announced for the Group (LAG). This is a group of interested parties, including WWT, who were invited by the government to assess the risk of to wildlife and human health and to recommend solutions.

The LAG’s chair has announced the group is aiming to have its draft risk assessments tabled in October, after which the LAG will consider risks and options and consult with stakeholders.

Martin Spray also welcomed the lead compliance campaign while being filmed for BBC1’s Countryfile

WWT Chief Executive Martin Spray CBE said:

“I welcome the shooting, game and land management industries’ united message that it’s in their members’ interests to comply with the law.

“Full compliance will hopefully lead to fewer birds being poisoned, which is the point of the law and the reason WWT wants to see less lead in the environment – we have no other agenda.

“By removing illegally shot lead, we will also have a clearer picture of how much poisoning under current legislation is due to the remaining legally-shot lead. This knowledge could open up options as to how that could be managed.

“I look forward to working collaboratively with shooting organisations to monitor and understand reductions we will hopefully see in the level of lead poisoning in birds and to work towards practical solutions.

“The Lead Ammunition Group is a very sensible and constructive approach to achieve a wider consideration of the issues. I’m assured and pleased the group is making progress and there is now a clear timeframe. I am very grateful to the members who are working through large amounts of evidence.”

This article was written and published by WWT.org.uk

Supertrooper

Founder and Executive Editor

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Ché Rudge
Ché Rudge

Mark it's good to think of alternatives. Glass having a density of 2.4-2.8g/cm3 is will leak energy too rapidly to carry enough energy to kill humanely. Steel is currently an alternative. But it's density is still low. Bearing in mind that a maximum effective range of. A shotgun using lead is quoted at 40 yards. Steel shot wounds far more birds than lead. There are bismuth and tungsten alloys. But the cost of these prohibit many from being able to afford this. Upto 6x the cost. Please read my response above. The figures for ducks carry lead are highly skewed,… Read more »

Andrew Koller-Kovacs
Andrew Koller-Kovacs

You must get so bored.

Darren Jarvis
Darren Jarvis

Che, slight correction. Should read, " I shoot at Ducks and Geese"…;;-)

Ché Rudge
Ché Rudge

I've just posted this on the WWT site in response to the proposed lead ban that they are leading. I am a Wildfowler and shoot ducks and geese for the table. Can I just say from my experience I have never seen a single person use lead shot over wetlands and I've shot with hundreds of people over the years. The first problem is that the ban on lead is on the species and not the location. Guns therefore can legally shoot a pheasant or pigeon in a field, but not a duck, in that same field. This is where… Read more »

Susan Lee

This should get support from all those who hope to eat what they hunt. Keeping in mind that the human apex-predator would ingest the highest concentrations of lead already in the tissues of the prey-animals and birds. It's literally a case of cutting our own throats to continue scattering all the lead bullets and pellets.

Mark McCandlish

This is a situation ripe for an entrepreneurial solution. So here’s an idea: Substitute or began manufacturing shot made of glass spheres. The process would be easy enough– molten glass sputtered onto a large spinning cold stainless steel disc- like scaling up nanoparticle production. The glass beads can be sized comparably to lead shot, only weighing one fifth as much, and are chemically inert if ingested by water fowl. In any case, environmental actions would eventually break down the glass into it’s natural component– Silicon Dioxide, which is already plentiful in the soil. At one fifth the weight of lead,… Read more »

Mark McCandlish

This is a situation ripe for an entrepreneurial solution. So here's an idea: Substitute or began manufacturing shot made of glass spheres. The process would be easy enough– molten glass sputtered onto a large spinning cold stainless steel disc- like scaling up nanoparticle production. The glass beads can be sized comparably to lead shot, only weighing one fifth as much, and are chemically inert if ingested by water fowl. In any case, environmental actions would eventually break down the glass into it's natural component– Silicon Dioxide, which is already plentiful in the soil. At one fifth the weight of lead,… Read more »