These blog items are where individuals/s have asked to develop an action such as a petition by collaborating to achieve a successful action.

Ban the Use of Lead Ammunition

This aim of the manifesto scored highly when reviewed against other aims. Please comment on this suggested petition, particularly the wording of the petition.

There is a minister for lead ammunition, Dr. Rob Sheldon, whose entry starts at P38 of the manifesto and here on this website.

Here is item 1 of the aims:

" 1. Government to put the UK on the front foot by introducing a ban on the sale, possession and use of all lead ammunition across the UK. "

The remaining aims 2-10 need not be adopted until we can see if this petition succeeds. It will take a lot of campaigning, but other counties will have likely been added to those already banning lead ammunition. 

There was a petition which closed in 2016 with similar aim. It is worthwhile looking at the past on this matter. The petition ran for 6 months but did not trigger a debate. There was a petition which supported the use of lead ammunition, so it is undoubtedly contentious. The government response to that seeking a ban was:

"The Government is considering the independent Lead Ammunition Group’s report and will respond as soon as possible. See: www.food.gov.uk/science/advice-to-frequent-eaters-of-game-shot-with-lead.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 
aims: 
• 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.

The UK government has decided to ignore the findings of the lead ammunition group to ban lead ammunition, and instead to do nothing, as was wished by those of the members of the group who resigned. It was obvious that the correct solution from the point of view of science, human health, animal health and availability of alternatives. There are requirements that lead shot is not used in wetlands, but that is disregarded by the many, and lead in shot wetland birds is readily found for sale.

This was a predictable result, but perhaps those people on the group who wished to see a continuation of lead in it's almost last permitted common use, expected that they might hold a majority in the group. 

It is not known in any measured way the actual harm that has been done to human health, but it is estimated that up to 500,000 birds die annually from lead poisoning. The lead ammunition group provided an report in April 2018.

When the government was asked in May 2018 what action they would take, the reply was quite insulting, perhaps deliberately so, when it reiterated that the use of lead ammunition in wildfowl shooting was banned, yet the updated report from the group said that it was ineffective.

Petition wording.

I'm not sure if this may be a devolved matter, so I'll concentrate on the UK petition, which would be most effective.

Ban sale, possession and use of all lead ammunition across the UK. 

Effective alternatives for lead ammunition for all forms of shooting have been available for several years. Several countries have adopted such measures. I the UK the government set up the Lead ammunition group which reported years ago, and updated the report in 2018. The government chose to ignore the report, and also the updated report, claiming incorrectly that the partial ban in place in wetlands was sufficient when the 2018 report make clear that it has been largely ignored and ineffective.

The report states that 200000 to 400,000 birds are affected annually, there are detrimental effects on wildlife and pets, as well as humans health. This has been well known for over 100 years, and probably millennia.

 

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Establish a new Environment Act
All snaring to be banned
 

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Wednesday, 23 October 2019