Wildlife conference guidelines on lead ammunition flawed

A non-binding resolution on lead ammunition, adopted by an international wildlife conference, has been described as a blunt, ineffective and unnecessary instrument by the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).

The international Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), which works on global issues affecting migratory species, voted to adopt draft guidelines at a conference in Ecuador. The guidelines call for a global phase-out of lead ammunition within three years in order to protect migratory birds.

The UK already has significant restrictions in place on the use of lead ammunition in order to protect migratory bird species. The guidelines adopted by CMS are not binding and will be kept under active review to ensure they conform with scientific evidence.

BASC Chairman Alan Jarrett said: “The UK is ahead of most of the world in taking action to protect migratory species of birds. We have adopted a series of regulations which protect both waterfowl species and sensitive habitats. Coastal wildfowling clubs in particular have an excellent record of ensuring that regulations are followed.”

“BASC has been working on the issue with its sister organisations in Europe, through the representative body FACE (The Federation of European Hunting Organisations). The adopted recommendations are technically illiterate – for instance they fail to distinguish between rifle bullets and shot.”

BASC Chief Executive Richard Ali said: “The guidelines adopted at the conference are not evidence-based and ignore the principles of better regulation. They also ignore the regulations already in place in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, which are designed to reduce any risk to migratory waterfowl in their feeding grounds.”

“Adopting sweeping resolutions at international conferences may please some delegates, but their non-binding status reflects their nature. Such resolutions do not meet the principles of good regulation. These state that regulation should be proportional to the problem which they address, and be accountable, consistent, targeted and transparent.”

“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.”   

For more information call the BASC press office on 01244 573052 or email press@basc.org.uk

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