Shooting organisations join forces to call for five-year phase-out of lead shot

Nine rural organisations have issued a joint statement calling for all shooters to phase out their use of lead shot for live-quarry shooting by 2025, as well as single-use plastics in cartridges.

BASC, the Countryside Alliance, the CLA, the GWCT, the NGO, the British Game Alliance, Scottish Land & Estates, SACS and the Moorland Association have co-signed the statement.

Cartridges for clay shooting aren’t included in the phase-out plans, but nevertheless this is the big news that’s got all of the shooting world talking.

Read the joint statement below.

In consideration of wildlife, the environment and to ensure a market for the healthiest game products, at home and abroad, we wish to see an end to both lead and single-use plastics in ammunition used by those taking all live quarry with shotguns within five years. The shooting community must maintain its place at the forefront of wildlife conservation and protection. Sustainability in our practices is of utmost importance.

Many years ago, wetland restrictions demanded a move away from lead shot and we believe it is necessary to begin a further phased transition. Recently, there have been significant developments in the quality and availability of non-lead shotgun cartridges, and plastic cases can now be recycled. For the first time, biodegradable shot cups for steel shot, with the necessary ballistics to ensure lethality, are available. These welcome advances are continuing at an ever-quickening pace, in response to demand from a changing market. Such advances mean that, over the coming years, a complete transition is achievable.

We are jointly calling for our members to engage in this transition and work with us, the Gun Trade Association and the cartridge manufacturers to ensure that further viable alternatives are developed for every situation involving live quarry. This is an opportunity to take the initiative and ensure the reputation of the shooting community, as custodians of the countryside, is both maintained and enhanced.

For more information, including a guide to using non-lead shot, see: www.basc.org.uk/lead

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