All the UK’s major shooting organisations have come together in a campaign to combat the threat to lead ammunition. Their message is simple: if you want to keep lead, keep to the law.
There is now a concerted campaign to ensure that everyone complies with the restrictions on lead shot that have been in place for more than a decade. The fact that all our leading shooting organisations have come together on this issue is a firm indicator of the seriousness with which we all take our responsibilities.
Non-compliance lays us open to claims that current regulation is inadequate and enforcement can only be achieved by introducing yet more laws. We have seen before, in many areas of public life, that regulators often see total bans as the easy option. So to push government into this course, and achieve a total lead ban, those opposed to shooting are trying their hardest to portray shooters as persistently breaking the law.
The answer lies in our own hands. If we all stick to the law there is nothing to fear. It should be unacceptable to all of us who obey the law that others put our sport in jeopardy by ignoring it. There will be more testing of duck for lead shot over the coming season. In a previous study 70 per cent of ducks on sale were found to contain lead.
Think how quickly we crack down on the selfishness or stupidity of others when it comes to safety. We should comply with the law, and ensure that others around us do the same. Flout the law and a ban will follow.
How can we avoid unjustified restrictions?
- Comply with the law.
- Ensure that those you shoot with comply: a quiet word pointing out the risks will often suffice.
- If you provide shooting, insist that non-lead shot is used for duck drives.
- If you sell duck refuse to take any birds of whatever species from a shoot that does not enforce compliance.
Where restrictions apply, there are no exceptions and no excuses.
If a Gun breaks the law the shoot organiser can also be prosecuted. That puts responsibility on landowners, gamekeepers, shoot captains and club chairmen.
Remember, every lead cartridge illegally fired blows a hole in the defence of all responsible shooting.
Help, share and show your support by adding you name to the campaign here