A new European initiative could lead to a complete ban on lead shot for clay shooting as well as game.
Lead shot is already banned for shooting ducks and geese in England and Wales, and from use over wetlands in Scotland.
In the latest move, the European Commission has instructed the European Chemicals Agency to draw up proposals for a complete ban on lead ammunition throughout the EU. A report on whether or not such a restriction is warranted is expected by the end of October 2020.
The ECHA say that further restrictions on lead ammunition and fishing weights are necessary because of “a growing volume of evidence worldwide of the negative impacts of lead ammunition on the environment and human health”.
Caroline Bedell, BASC’s executive director of conservation, said: “There are a number of uncertainties around this process at the moment, not least of which is the potential impact of Brexit and how the UK will respond legislatively to future directives from Europe.
Nevertheless, the EC and ECHA have clearly signalled their intent to seek a hard line approach in support of a complete ban on the use of lead ammunition with the exception of the military.
“BASC is working closely with colleagues at FACE to ensure the interests of the UK shooting community and ammunition manufacturers are fully represented in Europe. There is still plenty of time for organisations, manufacturers and individuals to have an input.”