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Lead: Ammunition

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL5938, tabled on 4 February 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether there is a widespread risk of lead poisoning in migratory waterbirds resulting from the use of lead ammunition, for the purpose of interpreting the Guidelines to Resolution 11.15, Preventing Poisoning of Migratory Birds, agreed at the Eleventh Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species.

Answered on

16 February 2016

Through the Environmental Protection (Restriction on Use of Lead Shot) (England) Regulations 1999, the use of lead shot ammunition is restricted to protect waterfowl from lead poisoning. Its use is banned on all foreshores, certain Sites of Special Scientific Interest and for the shooting of all ducks and geese, coot and moorhen. The supply of lead weights for fishing is also prohibited. One recent piece of research suggests compliance with the Regulations is relatively low with around 70% of wild duck carcasses bought from game dealers in England having been shot with lead ammunition. We will continue to look at how the Lead Shot Regulations can be better implemented.