EU vote to ban lead shot over wetlands

On Thursday 3rd September the EU REACH committee approved a proposal to ban lead shot over wetlands, within 2 years.  This proposal will now have to be ratified by the EU Council within 3 months.  Once ratified, which is considered a certainty, it will need to be published in in the Official Journal, and 20 days after this, the regulation will come into force and the 2 year transition will begin.

The implications of this for the UK are currently unclear. If the regulation comes into force before the Brexit transition period is over, on December 31st, then the UK will technically be obliged to adopt it.

This is concerning because the proposal uses the problematic RAMSAR definition of wetlands which includes “any body of water, permanent or temporary”, and within 100m of these.  Our estimates show that this covers roughly 60% of the mainland UK.  A pheasant drive next to a flowing ditch in December would count in this scenario.

We are monitoring the situation carefully, but should the UK be obliged to adopt our plan for a 5 year voluntary transition away from lead shot in live quarry shooting is the best lobbying tool we have to persuade the government that this is an unnecessary restriction, will cause undue chaos and should not be adopted.

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