New DEFRA sec Liz Truss rejects Lead Ammunition Group (LAG) food poison report

Tony Gosling tony at
Sat Jul 16 00:02:40 BST 2016

Lead poisons '100,000 birds annually'
By Victoria Gill Science reporter, BBC News
26 November 2015
Ducks, geese and swans can consume spent lead shot in grit and food
About 100,000 wetland birds are killed every year 
from poisoning by discarded lead ammunition, say scientists.
This is one of the conclusions of a report 
published on Thursday by the University of Oxford.
The report also suggests that the consumption of 
game shot with lead ammunition has a greater 
impact on human health than previously thought.
Scientists involved in the research say the 
evidence now supports a ban on the use of lead ammunition in the UK.
The report is a collection of research presented 
by experts who gathered at the Oxford Symposium 
on Lead ammunition last year. It includes 
findings from studies carried out by university 
academics and by conservation groups including 
the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) and the RSPB.
As well as the impacts of lead on the 
environment, researchers have investigated the 
effects on human health of consuming game 
containing traces of lead ammunition.
Lord Krebs, emeritus professor of zoology at the 
University of Oxford, and former chair of the UK 
Food Standards Agency, told BBC News that there 
was "an overwhelming body of evidence" that lead 
used in hunting was "a risk both to humans and to wildlife".
"On that basis," he told BBC News. "The advice 
would be that lead shot should be phased out."
Lead consumption
The use of lead shot has been restricted 
throughout the UK since 1999, although the rules 
differ in England and Wales, Scotland and 
Northern Ireland. But the WWT says that these 
regulations - designed largely to prevent lead 
shot being used over wetland habitats - are not working.
In England and Wales, for example, although game 
birds like pheasant and grouse can be shot with 
lead, hunters must use alternative, non-toxic 
ammunition to shoot ducks and geese.
But the WWT recently carried out tests on just 
over 100 ducks purchased as "locally shot" from 
suppliers in England and found that more than 
three quarters were killed using lead.

>Date: Thu, 14 Jul 2016 05:25:16 -0400
>Another load of dumbo control-freakery from: 
>Jill Grieve <press-office at>
>Secretary of State for the Environment, Liz 
>Truss, has rejected the recommendations of the 
>controversial Lead Ammunition Group (LAG) 
>process and confirmed that there will be no 
>further restrictions on the use of lead ammunition.
>In a letter to LAG Chairman, John Swift, The 
>Secretary of State has confirmed that the Food 
>Standards Agency will not be changing its advice 
>on the consumption of game shot with lead 
>ammunition and notes that "the report does not 
>provide evidence of causation linking possible 
>impacts of lead ammunition with sizes of bird 
>populations".  In relation to both human health 
>and wildlife the Secretary of State is clear: 
>"the report did not show that the impacts of 
>lead ammunition were significant enough to 
>justify changing current policy; we therefore do 
>not accept your recommendation to ban the use of 
>lead ammunition". The letter also confirms that the LAG process has now ended.
>Countryside Alliance Chief Executive, Tim 
>Bonner, said: "The LAG process has been 
>mind-numbingly slow and increasingly 
>controversial. So controversial in fact that 
>half of the group resigned, unable to work with 
>its Chairman John Swift, before LAG finally 
>submitted its final report to Defra last year. 
>Those resignations included that of our then 
>Executive Chairman Barney White-Spunner who said 
>at the time that he left because of “abuses of 
>process and evidence that render the group’s 
>work so flawed it can never reach any scientific conclusions”.
>"We are profoundly grateful that the Alliance's 
>position has been entirely vindicated by the 
>Secretary of State and that she has rejected any 
>further restrictions on the use of lead 
>ammunition, let alone the total ban that John Swift proposed in his report.
>"A ban on the use of lead ammunition would have 
>a significant impact on the huge contribution 
>shooting makes to conservation, to local 
>communities and to the rural economy. From the 
>start of this process the Countryside Alliance 
>was, therefore, very clear that any further 
>restrictions could only ever be justified on the 
>basis of real, relevant scientific evidence. The 
>painstaking work of successive Alliance 
>representatives on LAG has revealed that evidence just does not exist."
>Notes to Editors:
>•The link to the full letter from Liz Truss to 
>John Swift can be found here 
>For more information please contact the 
>Countryside Alliance press office on 0207 840 
>9220 or press-office at
>If you would rather not receive future 
>communications from Countryside Alliance, please 
>go to 
>Countryside Alliance, Countryside Alliance 1 
>Spring Mews, Tinworth Street, SE11 5AN London, United Kingdom

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