Compliance with the law on the use of non-lead ammunition

The use of lead shot over all foreshore, specified Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and for the shooting of all ducks and geese, coot, and moorhen, wherever they occur, has been illegal in England since November 1999. The Welsh Assembly imposed restrictions on lead shot, based closely on the English approach, in September 2002. Scottish legislation differs from that in England and Wales in that since 2004 it has been illegal to use lead shot to shoot any species or target, including game and clays, over wetlands. Similar restrictions banning the use of lead shot over wetlands were introduced in Northern Ireland in September 2009. In Scotland and Northern Ireland it is permissible to use lead shot to shoot any species outside wetlands.

All members of the shooting community are legally bound to comply with the lead shot regulations, and to ensure that only non-lead shot is used wherever lead shot is banned under those regulations. It is the responsibility of every individual gun to comply with the law, whoever the ultimate consumer will be, and to make certain that lead shot is not used illegally. Its improper use cannot be tolerated. Compliance with the current restrictions is critical if there is not to be a further restriction, or a complete ban, on the use of lead for shooting in the United Kingdom.

The organisations listed below jointly agree to make every effort to ensure compliance with the lead shot regulations in the United Kingdom. As joint signatories of the Code of Good Shooting Practice, they have already called for non-lead shot only to be used during any game or rough shooting that might otherwise result in spent lead shot being deposited into wetland areas used by feeding waterfowl.

Joint Statement on compliance with the law on the use of non-lead ammunition