LAG membership – who do they work for?

In the first screen shot we see that see that each member of the LAG is linked to an organisation. John Swift and tagged as being the BASC representative.

This is the letter to John Swift from Defra note they are on the LAG as ‘stakeholders’ for their organisation.

John Swift
Chief Executive
The British Association for Shooting and Conservation
Marford Mill

Our ref: P0161372

December 2009

From Huw Irranca-Davies Minister for Marine and Natural Environment

Dear John,

Thank you for your letter of 26 November to Hilary Benn, sent on behalf of various stakeholders, about the threat to wild birds from ingesting lead from ammunition.

I recognise that this is a complex issue and note the concerns of the RSPB, the Wildlife and Wetlands Trust and yourselves. I am not aware of any new research that has been conducted that shows that lead ammunition residues or spent lead shot is a real threat to the conservation of wildlife in general in England. However, I realise levels of concern have risen recently among various stakeholders involved with lead from ammunition, and this issue covers a number of fronts. Therefore I have asked Defra officials to look at the possibility of convening a group to look at possible impacts for wildlife of lead from ammunition, the welfare implications of available alternatives and potential effects from contaminated food on human health.

If you, or any of the stakeholders who are party to your letter, would like to be involved in such a group please contact: Ashley Matthews, Room 108, Defra, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol BS1 6EB (

My kind regards


sceen shot lag membership 19 oct 2012

Then by 4 June 2014 John Swift is no long listed as a BASC representative. Why did BASC not put someone on the LAG committee to represent their members?

sceen shot lag membership 5 June 2014

In the BASC briefing to members they state the following:

Why was the Lead Ammunition Group (LAG) formed?

In October 2009 Mark Avery of RSPB and Debbie Pain of WWT wrote to the Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) expressing concern at the potential impact of lead ammunition on the health of humans and wildlife. They called for a group to be formed to address the evidence and make recommendations. A letter from the shooting organisations to the Secretary of State stated that while any evidence had to be addressed there was no case for sweeping legislative or regulatory change. The Defra Minister for the marine and Natural Environment, Huw Irranca-Davies MP, asked his officials to investigate convening a stakeholder group to look at the issues. In March 2010 Defra invited John Swift, then CEO of BASC, to Chair a group and suggested terms of reference. LAG’s first meeting was in April 2010. The full text of the letters can be read here: from the “background” tab.

It does not say that John Swift as CEO of BASC also wrote to defra on lead ammunition, on behalf of a number of shooting organisations. I believe now that John Swift using his position with BASC lead the shooting organisation into a trap that lead to the LAG being formed with himself and chairman.

Our ref: AH/Corres/JPH091126HB

Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP Secretary of State Department of Environment,
Food and Rural Affairs
Nobel House 17
Smith Square

26th November 2009

Dear Secretary of State,

I write on behalf of all the organisations listed at the end of this letter, who have given their support for its content.

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and RSPB recently made us aware of their writing to you summarising some recent scientific findings regarding the potential risk to human and wildlife health caused by the use of lead ammunition. They recommend that a wider group of interested stakeholders be convened by Government to address this.

The organisations signing this letter are aware of that correspondence. All the evidence bearing on this important matter must be addressed seriously and justifies reasoned attention by all the organisations involved in shooting activities.

We draw your attention, however, to recent research commissioned by our organisations underlining the popularity, diversity, economic and environmental value of shooting sports in the United Kingdom ( The use of appropriate ammunition and compatible sporting firearms is fundamental to that value. The diversity and scale of shooting sports underlines the importance of winning of the hearts and minds of the hundreds of thousands of participants, as well as those whose livelihoods and businesses depend on shooting, for any recommendations that might emerge as necessary for the protection of the environment and human health.

We believe that the WWT and RSPB letter provides a certain perspective. Any working group, however, will have to take an objective risk management approach to the diversity of issues involved. Such an approach will be essential for assessing the evidence robustly, judging the scale of the risks to the environment and human health in proper context, raising awareness and support among different affected groups essential for the delivery of positive outcomes, and resolving issues connected with the development of lead substitutes and the implications of their use in the variety of shooting disciplines.

We recognise that this will not be an easy task. In the meantime we stress that the shooting community does not believe that the case for sweeping legislative or regulatory restrictions on the use of lead ammunition has been made.

It may be helpful to be aware that the organisations signing this letter have already met in August as a Lead in Ammunition Technical Working Group and are meeting again in December. The purposes of this industry group are to ensure that all the different representatives know what is going on, take a clearer view of the key issues and better brief their decision-making bodies.

We believe that this existing industry group provides an appropriate forum for this matter to be addressed. We wish to have a constructive dialogue with your Department and government agencies, especially those with responsibility for environment and health.

Yours sincerely

John Swift
Chief Executive
British Deer Society
Clay Pigeon Shooting Association
Countryside Alliance
Country Land and Business Association
Deer Initiative Ltd
Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust
Gun Trade Association
Moorland Association
National Game Dealers Association
National Gamekeepers Organisation

SO the LAG members where on the LAG as stakeholders. John Swift was as the BASC representative But as soon as it was clear the way things where going as soon as John Swift retired they dropped him like a stone. Saying he no longer work for them. BASC then have no representation on the main LAG committee. The voice of shooting has no voice.


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