The Government has responded to the petition to Ban Toxic Lead Ammunition

Poison and cannabis

Dear Mr. xxxxxx  xxxxxxxxx,

The Government has responded to the petition you signed – “Ban toxic lead ammunition”.

Government responded:

The Government is considering the independent Lead Ammunition Group’s report and will respond as soon as possible. See:

Lead shot has been prohibited for wildfowling since 1999 by the Environmental Protection (Restriction on Use of Lead Shot) (England) Regulations 1999. Those regulations introduced a double restriction: firstly, lead shot cannot be used, on any game, in certain areas – namely over the foreshore or over a list of named Sites of Special Scientific Interest; secondly, lead shot cannot be used anywhere for shooting certain species – namely ducks, geese, swans, coots and moorhens. These restrictions reflect the resolution made that year through the African Eurasian Waterbird Agreement, to which the UK is a party.

To examine the continued use of lead ammunition in other forms of shooting, the then Government established the independent Lead Ammunition Group in 2010 with these
• To advise Defra/FSA on what the significant risks to wildlife from the use of lead ammunition are and what levels of risk these pose in the short, medium and long term. Also any perceived risks which the evidence indicates are not significant.
• To advise Defra/FSA on possible options for managing the risk to human health from increased exposure to lead resulting from the use of lead ammunition, notably in terms of food safety (including game shot with lead ammunition and spent lead shot deposited on agricultural land).
• To advise Defra/FSA of any significant knowledge gaps that may hinder the identification or assessment of risks, the development of technical solutions or the development of government policy.
• To advise Defra/FSA on any communication issues, and possible solutions, concerning the relaying of balanced information on issues surrounding the use of lead ammunition to the media, general public and stakeholders.
• To advise DEFRA/FSA of any significant impacts of possible advice or solutions on shooting activity and associated recreational, wildlife management, economic and employment impacts.

The Lead Ammunition Group reported in the summer of 2015, though by the time it did so five of its ten members had resigned, with four of those subsequently submitting a different set of recommendations.

The Government is considering its report.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Click this link to view the response online:

The Petitions Committee will take a look at this petition and its response. They can press the government for action and gather evidence. If this petition reaches 100,000 signatures, the Committee will consider it for a debate.

The Committee is made up of 11 MPs, from political parties in government and in opposition. It is entirely independent of the Government. Find out more about the Committee:

The Petitions team
UK Government and Parliament


Interestingly to Government above have told us lead shot cannot be used, on any game, in certain areas – namely over the foreshore or over a list of named Sites of Special Scientific Interest.  We would like to know if these named sites extends to red grouse moors in northern England, because grouse are regularly shot on moorland designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest and Special Protected Areas (SPA’s)  on grouse moors! This list of named SSSI sites need to be published as soon as possible.

Importantly, the use of lead shot is still permitted on one very important SSSi in Lancashire’s Forest of Bowland on moorland used as a Water Catchment owned and managed by United Utilities from which the company distribute drinking water to millions of their consumers throughout the N.W of England. Perhaps the shooting of red grouse is more important than public health in this case?

1 comment to The Government has responded to the petition to Ban Toxic Lead Ammunition

  • Stephen Webster

    How do I find the list of SSSIs where lead ammunition is banned ?

    Editor’s Comment. Stephen we have now added a link to this detail in RED at the bottom of the article.