Eating game shot with lead: A letter in the Shooting Times

Written by Mike Swan, GWCT Head of Education

Originally published in The Shooting Times

In asking about human fatalities due to lead poisoning, A. Oldfield (letters 3/11) is surely asking the wrong question. If eating game shot with lead were that dangerous, use of lead in shooting would have become illegal long ago. What we should worry about is the sub lethal effects of this toxic metal. I guess that in common with me, Mr Oldfield has eaten lots of game from childhood, and that may well have compromised our brain development, even if only a wee bit.

Now, having fed plenty of lead shot game to both of my sons, I feel more than a little guilty that I may have compromised their potential too. So, if I am lucky enough to have grandchildren, I look forward to them living in a world that is not contaminated by lead from shooting.

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Re: Lead shot in game

at 13:29 on 06/12/2021 by Rob Beeson- GWCT

The GWCT, along with most other wildlife organisations, does not have human health experts on its staff. The following advice has been produced by human health experts at the Food Standards Agency (FSA), who are qualified to give advice on the consumption of game shot with lead ammunition: https://www.gwct.org.uk/policy/briefings/lead-ammunition/#human

Lead shot in game

at 13:20 on 06/12/2021 by Mark Crudgington

Can you show the definite scientific evidence that supports the premise put forward by Mike Swan that eating game shot with lead ammunition leads to cognitive impairment or brain development as Mike puts it ? It should be easy if the lead isotope maker as used by the FSA sponsored report from 2015 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969715304757 You refused to publish the previous comment I placed here last week , I trust you will have the good grace to both publish this and answer the question ?

Lead shot in game

at 9:14 on 23/11/2021 by Hugh Rose

Mike Swan may be more affected by ingesting lead than he thinks. Surely he is not suggesting lead poisoning effects are passed on genetically to grandchildren? I suspect I and my family have eaten as much if not more lead shot game and venison as he has. My Cantab degree is the worst in the family and my year old grandson is already promising to overtake my Second Class higher educational achievement! The campaign against lead shot is purely an oblique attack on shooting by RSPB (that well-known food safety campaigning charity.) It is sensible to take lead shot out of the environment but it would be nice to see more time before legislating and more investment in developing a suitable economic replacement.

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