UN Resolution on Lead Shot Technically Illiterate – BASC

UK Shooting organisations critical of UN sponsored Agreement to phase-out lead ammunition

A UN sponsored agreement recommending the banning of lead projectiles (bullet and shot) in all areas (not just waterways and wetlands) within the next 3 years has been labelled as “technically illiterate”, “blunt” and “ineffective” by the UK’s largest shooting organisation, BASC (The British Association for Shooting and Conservation).

The resolution was adopted by the Parties to the UN Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) at a conference held in Quito, Ecuador early in November. The resolution forms part of a set of guidelines to stop migratory birds being poisoned.

The Parties to the convention are not obliged to implement all of the recommendations, and have the power to determine whether or not, or how, to implement the provisions of the guidelines.

BASC Chairman Alan Jarrett called the recommendations “technically illiterate”, pointing out that they “fail to distinguish between rifle bullets and shot”. He also highlighted the fact that the Agreement did not take into account regulations already existing in certain countries, the UK included, to protect waterfowl species and their habitats from any negative effects of lead shot.

BASC’s Chief Executive, Richard Ali, also criticised the proposals citing that they are not evidenced based and ignore the principles of better regulation. He added, “BASC’s position on the use of lead ammunition is clear: no sound evidence, no change. We will continue to work at home and abroad to ensure that any decisions on regulation are based on sound science and sound principles of regulation.”

Countryside Alliance (CA) Director of Campaigns, Tim Bonner followed a similar line by saying, “There is no evidence of any migratory species, other than waterfowl, being affected by lead ammunition in the UK. We fully accept the current restrictions on the use of lead (shot) over wetlands and continue to campaign for 100% compliance. However, the Alliance believes in legislation based on evidence and principle, which is why we oppose a ban on all lead ammunition.”

BASC and CA are continuing to work with other UK and European conservation, science and shooting organisations to get a better understanding of the effects of lead shot on the various environments in which shooting is conducted.

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