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Is lead shot poisoning the UK's birds?

26/01/2013 10:08:58 Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) has welcomed the Government's announcement to review the progress of the Lead Ammunition Group
January 2013. The Lead Ammunition Group was set up in 2010 in response to urgent concerns about the toxic effects of ammunition made of lead, which is a poisonous substance to all forms of life. Most lead shot misses its target and falls to the ground where it can be ingested by several species of birds including swans, ducks and geese who mistake it for food or the grit they use to grind food.

8% of dead wild birds killed by lead poisoning
WWT research has found that 1 in 3 wild birds sampled suffer from lead poisoning, and that it was the cause of death for 1 in 12 dead wild birds sampled.

Environment Minister Lord De Mauley, answering a written question, told the House of Lords "the (Lead Ammunition) group has agreed to provide a report to Ministers in April 2013 and Defra will review the progress of the group at this stage".

"Lead is a poison"
WWT Chief Executive Martin Spray said: "Lead is a poison, yet we still allow thousands of tons of it to be spread across our countryside. Thousands of birds suffer and die from ingesting lead shot left on the ground.

"The Lead Ammunition Group's work is crucial in assessing the damage caused to wildlife and people by lead shot. It was set up in response to an urgent request in 2010 and there is a danger that, with still no sign of a final report, the group could be seen to be moving too slowly while wildlife continues to suffer and die. The group's commitment to publishing an interim report in April sends a strong signal that it is getting on with the job, and I welcome the Government's decision to review the group's progress thereafter".

Wildlife Extra wonders if birds would be better off if those wielding the guns were better shots?

Read the comments about this article and leave your own comment

Dee Donworth

Dee.... And your balance view re: any fool being able to own a gun is based in what exactly? Absolute joke that statement. The article does highlight what needs looking at....I am just trying to see how your comments add value to it?

Posted by: Kei | 28 Jan 2013 18:59:54

lead shot

it seems any fool can own and use a gun, but few obviously really know what they are doing. futhermore, we are constantly told how wonderfull these people are to care so much about our willdife, thats why they shoot them apparently ! but birds are expendable ? custodians of our countryside ? i dont think so

Posted by: dee donworth | 26 Jan 2013 16:28:13

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