The League Against Cruel Sports today called for an end to the use of lead shot within the UK’s game shooting industry. The charity’s call follows a recent EU wide study into the practice by the European Chemicals Agency, which has been strongly criticised by the Countryside Alliance.
Joe Duckworth, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports says: ”It frankly flies in the face of the facts that the Countryside Alliance is defending the use of lead shot, when the case against doing so is so strong on humanitarian and scientific grounds; is banned in several EU countries, including Norway, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands; and when non-toxic alternatives, including tungsten and bismuth are available and have been used successfully for years.”
Thousands of tonnes of highly toxic lead shot are discharged into the countryside each year. Lead not only contaminates rivers, lakes and soil, it is ingested by predators that feed on shot birds and is eaten by water birds mistaking the shot particles for seeds or small molluscs when feeding.
Studies show that lead poisoning causes between nine per cent and 31 per cent of deaths in various species of ducks and geese and has been found in 33 species of bird of prey and 30 species of other land birds, including some of our most treasured and rare species.
Joe Duckworth concludes: ”It’s about time that the Countryside Alliance and others who defend the use of lead shot face up to the catastrophic impact of their selfish behaviour on wildlife and the environment.”