New Compliance report on lead shot

In the Westminister Hall debate on Lead Ammunition, Carolyn Harris MP said there was a new compliance report.

Carolyn Harris: The study was repeated in 2014 and showed that compliance had not improved, with an increased number of 77% of ducks sampled being shot illegally with lead.

The report that has to date not been made public, until I see it I can not comment on it.



Tim Bonner – Lead Ammunition debate

Westminster Hall debate on “usage of lead shot in ammunition” 

Tom Bonner writes: On Tuesday Gerald Jones, the Labour MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, secured a one hour Westminster Hall debate on ‘usage of lead shot in ammunition’. Even the title of this discussion was odd in that it seemed to exclude discussion of lead bullets, but given that Mr Jones had never previously shown any interest in shooting it may just have been a misunderstanding.

He read out his opening statement from a script which sounded remarkably similar to the public statements made by the RSPB and Wildfowl and Wetlands trust. Indeed it was noticeable that there were more staff from those organisations in attendance than the three MPs (including Mr Jones) who were willing to argue for further restrictions on lead ammunition. As I have said before it is very sad that two organisations that do so much brilliant conservation work give such priority to a campaign which, is at least in part, clearly motivated by an antipathy to shooting as a whole.

A number of MPs, led by our own Chairman Simon Hart argued forcibly that there was no justification for a ban on lead ammunition. Simon declared an unusual interest in the debate by stating the fact that he was “probably the only Member who has been shot by a lead cartridge… It was about 35 years ago and I still carry 20 lead pellets in my left knee”‘ he added that “colleagues will judge whether that has affected my physical or mental state.”

Charles Walker MP stated that “tungsten, bismuth and hevi-shot cost five to seven times as much as lead. A significant part of most people’s shooting budget.”

Jim Shannon MP brought his experience shooting and wildfowling in Northern Ireland to the debate arguing that attempts to ban lead ammunition are “unjust and unfair and highlight the way in which science can be used and manipulated to suit a political agenda”.

Rishi Sunak MP and Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP argued that evidence on the impact of lead ammunition in the UK has failed to pass rigorous academic scrutiny and the risks have been exaggerated. They also stated that a ban on lead would have serious implications for the gun trade, the rural economy and the natural environment

Alex Cunningham MP, a shadow Defra Minister, was forced to concede that there was no evidence in the UK of any premature death caused by lead ammunition which prompted Simon Hart to suggest that “unless he [Cunningham] can come up with that evidence, he is doing nothing more than mischief making”.

George Eustice MP responded for the Government and stated that since half of the Lead Ammunition Group members had resigned “we are therefore in a position in which we have no expert consensus about the impact of lead ammunition on wildlife or human health”, but did acknowledge that current compliance levels with existing legislation were disappointing.

This is not a matter of debate and is something that all speakers agreed on. Adherence with the current restrictions for shooting wildfowl and shooting over wetlands is non-negotiable. Using lead shot in contradiction of the regulations is not only environmentally damaging, but also risks the future use of lead ammunition for all shooting. None of us should think that it is acceptable either personally, or from those who we shoot with.

Tim Bonner
Chief Executive
Follow on Twitter @CA_TimB

You can see the full debate on this PDF file

Westminster hall debate Lead Shot Ammunition


Shooting News A Political, Political Ambush

Shooting News-News, Lies, rumour & fact. Reading is believing

A political, Political Ambush By Arnold Chapkis

4th December 2015

Briefing notes in light of: the Natural England and DEFRA contempt of Law and fairness, revealed in the ‘Buzzard’ Judicial Review by Mr Justice Ouseley, published 13/11/2015 – the publication of the ‘Oxford’ Symposium on Lead and other matters – a Judicial Review over ‘Lead’ in the making.


No UK based, (site-specific) independent, professional, empirical, science has ever been conducted in the UK or in England, to date. No adverse effect upon waterfowl or wildlife populations has been detected that can be linked to spent Lead Shot in the UK or England in particular. There are no records of spent Lead shot impacting in any adverse way upon the human food chain. The matter of spent Lead shot is an ideological and obsessive campaign driven by the RSPB and the WWT and their fellow travellers.


First, create the enemy (English shooting, for example). Then found a representative body for the enemy, and Infiltrate it; the BASC was created in 1981, (John Swift was present at its birth). It provided a number of useful services for its members. It also provided’ collaborative’ cover for the WWT and the RSPB, to embark upon a clandestine anti-lead ammunition campaign in partnership with John Swift’s BASC.

It lobbied for a ban on all Lead ammunition below its members radar, for decades. The deception was ultimately revealed (ironically) by the debacle of the Lead Ammunition Group. The troika had overplayed its hand. It also revealed the complicity of the DEFRA Wild Bird Policy Unit in the matter of lead Ammunition. The political partnership between government and the troika flourished under 13 glorious years of a field sports hating Labour government. The end of Labour was and is a serious blow to an overweening and now, almost fascist, birding lobby.

John Swift left the BASC in 2013 whilst remaining Chairman of the Lead Ammunition Group. The BASC has struggled ever since to repair the damage to its credibility. Because of the betrayal over Lead ammunition, English Shooting must now consider Judicial Review territory in the event DEFRA continues to treat with the RSPB and the WWT on the same terms as the past.

The Meretriciously named Oxford’ Symposium on Lead is a textbook example of the combining of political agenda driven science with the smooth deceptions of branding. It is a creature of the ideological campaign, driven by the RSPB, the WWT, and their followers. It is a marketing technique that in this context, circumnavigates consumer law. 

The correct taxonomy of the ‘Oxford’ Symposium on Lead is, The ‘Edward Grey Institute’ Symposium on Lead. The Edward Grey Institute a small department (some say club) specialising in ornithology. It is housed within the Department of Zoology, which in turn is a small department at Oxford University.

  • Part of the branding process is; get a ‘name’ (preferably a blast from the past) to provide a testimonial. A high priest of political science *Lord Krebbs stepped up to provided a ‘Forward’ to the Symposium. 
  • Professor Chris Perrins, ‘Warden of the Swans’, heads up Edward Grey. He hosted, and ‘Introduced’ the Symposium.
  • Generate a good strapline e.g., “50,000-100,000 wildfowl die each winter as a direct result of lead poisoning” (The ‘Oxford Symposium on Lead & the BBC). It is noted that even Lord Krebbs had difficulty swallowing that figure.
  • That is how to bake government policy – just add Ministers.

The Oxford Symposium on Lead in December 2014 anticipated the failure of the lead Ammunition Group that was inspired and launched in 2010 by Mr John Swift, the RSPB, and the WWT. The Symposium has now released its documentation in an attempt to rescue their anti-Lead campaign.

They wish to lobby DEFRA, and Natural England, at the Gerald Jones MP Westminster Hall debate on Lead ammunition on Tuesday 8th (4.30-5.30), and to exert pressure on an imminent Government statement that is due, regarding the successful Petition in defence of Lead Ammunition. .


*Lord Krebbs, none more political than he. Lobby fodder and political networker supreme – Badgers, Climate Change, Smoking, and Ornithology. He played the role of ‘science’ on the Blairite Labour party policy stage. His political involvement made his reputation, ultimately awarding him a seat in the House of Lords. His familiarity withthe government grant (funding) systems gained him the academic world’s adulation and respect. He is an ornithologist, who else therefore would the RSPB and the WWT turn to for the endorsement of their ideological bid against Lead ammunition, and how could he turn down the offer to be back in the limelight, since being sidelined by  the eclipse of Blairisam.


Lord Krebbs exhortations against Lead ammunition are selective. He quotes from the 1983 Royal Commission on Lead “efforts should be made to develop alternatives to lead shot”. He seems to have overlooked this bit of the Commission’s report:

6.42. “The effects of spent lead shot on water birds and lead fishing weights on swans have been described in paragraphs 3.16 and 3.17.  We know of little evidence of harmful effects of such lead on man, though the habit of some anglers, including young boys, of closing split shot weights between the teeth could add marginally to the intake of lead.”

3.16 “A report to the British Association for Shooting and conservation, the Royal Society for the protection of Birds and the wildfowl Trust on the poisoning of wildfowl in Great Britain by spent gun shot estimated that about 8,000 mallard each year die of poisoning from this source of lead, although this figure is a very small proportion of the overwintering mallard population and small compared with the direct losses from wildfowling”

Anyone reading the Royal Commission’s report will seen that all of the references to Lead shot and birds are provided exclusively by the RSPB, the WWT, and BASC. This is back in 1981/3. Two people, namely Ruth Cromie, and Deborah Pain, (WWT) have been in pole position on this subject ever since. Their names appear on the main documents of the ‘Oxford’ Symposium on Lead. They are both employed by the WWT. They were instrumental in the setting up of the Lead ammunition Group in 2010. Cromie was responsible for the libellous and flawed 2010 WWT/BASC Report to DEFRA concerning ‘compliance’ with the English regulation on the use of Lead ammunition.

The WWT and the RSPB’s are politically engaged in a mendacious crusade against shooting in general, and Lead ammunition in particular. They are desperate to make their fallacious anti-Lead allegations stick. However this political juggernaut of a campaign is dressed up, or whose right-on testimonial they elicit, their failure to provide valid, repeatable, empirical science, shines out. The ‘Oxford’ Symposium on Lead blatantly resorts to the toxic political gambit of evoking public fear and alarm over eating game. They wish to bounce Government Ministers into reacting to ‘public perception’ rather than the facts.

Their unwarranted influence upon DEFRA and National England is clearly revealed in the recent judgement by MR JUSTICE OUSELEY in Case No: CO/4133/2014 – 13/11/2015. We have seen their influence incite

DEFRA’S complicit actions when setting up of the Lead Ammunition Group, and we saw it in the blatantly dishonest 2010 WWT/BASC report on ‘Compliance’. See: –


One of the key characteristics of the ornithologist is an inexorable obsession for birds. The ‘Birders’ and ‘twitches’ world is most often one of compulsion. Not unlike the compulsive hand washer, their mindset is of clinical interest; and treatable to a degree. Beware, however deserving of sympathy, obsessive’s can be dangerous.


**Charles Nodder says (shooting times 2 Dec – see attached) that the illegal behaviour of DEFRA and Natural England, condemned in the recent the National Gamekeepers organisation victorious judicial review (see Link) “to react reasonably to the judgement”, and “Continued talk of victory is unhelpful”. He implies a threat, “we all depend

on it (Natural England) for decisions that affect many aspects of our sport, not least General Licences”. To paraphrase; don’t get cocky; if you do, DEFRA will revert to being as awkward as they were before, remember ‘shoo before you shoot’? 

Chares Nodder, who he? He is a worthy member of the shooting public, a PR Consultant, and a Shooting ‘media hack’. He is also a ‘political’ consultant to the National Gamekeepers Organisation. He provides a sort of ‘Pay and Display’ service to shooting media and organisations. Often used to send ‘smoke signals’, when the sender wishes to remain cloaked. Is Natural England/DEFRA launching a veiled threat? Ask Charles Nodder, DEFRA may be one of his clients. It is also possible that the Shooting Times gave him space in good faith to voice his personal heart felt view, we do not know.


A political, Political Ambush


Arnold Chapkis

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BBC 100,000 birds dying from lead each year, BULLSHIT!

Lead poisons ‘100,000 birds annually’

By Victoria Gill Science reporter, BBC News


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.

Ruth Cromie from the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust told BBC News: “A lot of people are ignoring [the regulations].”

“And even where the law is being obeyed, it’s possible for water birds to be exposed to legally deposited lead, so the issue is that the law isn’t protecting birds from lead poisoning.”

But shooting organisations in the UK see a campaign against lead shot as a campaign against hunting.

20-year experiment

Christopher Graffius from the British Association for Shooting and Conservation told BBC News: “We have already reduced the amount of lead being released into the environment.

“And when it comes to human health, there are risk management procedures [in place]; a ban would be a knee-jerk response – it’s not proportionate.”

But Lord Krebs said that even the threat to human health from consuming wild game shot legally with lead was a concern.

“People who eat wild game regularly, particularly young children, are at risk of some adverse effects,” he told BBC News. “It could affect their mental development.”

“We don’t allow our children to chew on toys painted with lead paint, so why should we be allowing them to chew on game that contains fragments of lead.”

In Denmark, the use and possession of lead shot has been banned since 1996 – creating a test-bed for legislation that some conservation organisations in the UK are pushing for.

Niels Kanstrup, a Danish hunter and biologist says the ban has actually been beneficial for hunting.

“I’m a conservationist,” he told BBC News. “I’m a hunter, too.

“I think it’s a fair and sustainable way to use natural resources, but we can’t have it connected with spreading poisonous heavy metals in nature.”

SHOCK – HORROR – AWE – Shooting News – By AC

Shooting News – By AC


20th November 2015

AC writes: “SHOCK: If it were not for the NGO they would have got away with it. The attached copy of a High Court Judgement by Mr Justice Ouseley (13/11/2015) reveals a shocking abuse of institutional power. It sets out forensic detail showing that Natural England and DEFRA conspired together, under extreme pressure from the RSPB, to systematically deprive an innocent man of his livelihood. Their continuous refusal to grant him a Licence despite his fulfilment of all normal requirements was challenged and condemned by Mr Justice Ouseley. 

There is no right of appeal against a Natural England Licensing decision, hence the need for a judicial review. 

A DEFRA Minister (Richard Beynon MP) advised Natural England not to grant a Licence on the basis that it would breach a policy of ‘cultural and political’ consideration despite being aware that utilising ‘public opinion’ as a policy was illegal in the context. However, fear of RSPA rabble rousing was a risk he was not prepared to countenance. 

Whilst advising against the ‘social and political’ gambit, Natural England did all they could to obstruct the granting of a Licence. By ratcheting up the intensity of qualifying tests unreasonably imposed upon the applicant, at the same time knowing that they would never grant a licence, they hoped to crush the applicant out of his application with the sheer force of demoralisation. It took 4 years; Kafka could not have made it up. Then it came to Court thanks to the NATIONAL GAMEKEEPERS ORGANISATION, They are the heroes and deserve to be flooded with new members.

None of the Natural England/DEFRA actions were accidental or a result of incompetence. They were deliberate attempts to prevent due process, ensuring that the application(s) for a licence could never succeed. Natural England and DEFRA achieved their objective with disregard to the costs, damage, and personal stress, they were inflicting upon an innocent applicant. The applicant lost his livelihood but won the judicial review. 

The anti-shooting cultural prejudice embedded in Natural England, and in elements of DEFRA, reached their full expression on this particular occasion.”

This is the full document


My Comment: “I can not thank you NGO enough for all the work they have put into this court case and WIN!” Ian the gun

This is the court papers

NGO BUZZARDS high-court-win

Breeding Hell by AC

Shooting News by AC

This is the PDF of the Shooting News article by AC, Breeding Hell, please download and pass on to friends.  BREEDING HELL 1a


It’s probably only a coincident; since Shooting News (Sept. 9th 2015) set out the details of the BASC betrayal over raised cages; two new Parliamentary Early Day Motions on the subject have again been tabled in the last month.

You will see from the signatures on the EDM’s that the SNP are riding shotgun with Labour on this.

We are all a little nervous nowadays after the previous 30 years of deceit over Lead ammunition. The BASC will surely allay all our fears, won’t they? At present all the evidence indicates that they backing this covert attack on English shooting. A repudiation of these new EDM’s is called for.

Also noted: An article in this week’s (14th October) Shooting Times by the celebrated Damiam Mcbride Christopher Graffius (BASC director of communications) recommended cosying up to the labour party, the sister party of the SNP. He also conveyed a warning shot across the bows of the Shooting public from, and on behalf of his Labour Party friends.

The S/T article’s gambit was; it won’t always be a Tory government, the bogymen will be back, so watch out Shooting Public, and listen to Christopher.

Of course it could all be a cunning plan hatched by Mr Graffius; really cannot say for sure.

The troika (John Swift, WWT, RSPB) seems to be back in the saddle whining and dinning, whilst Mr Graffius provides a little mood music, after all they are his muckers.

Mr Swift has been in overdrive in the last few weeks spreading his Lead poisoning to the Press (see extracts of his letter to DEFRA setting out his report on Lead published in the Telegraph and the Mail). The funny thing is that only Mark Avery seems to agree with him.

But beware, even now, Mr Swift is still listed as Treasurer General on the FACE EU so do not expect any comfort from that quarter. After all FACE EU are the agents for the AEWA.

See below reprint of the: A CASE HISTORY OF THE BASC AND RAISED CAGES from the last newsletter.



Let us remember what happened in the case of raised cages in the last few weeks of the dying labour government in 2010. Most of the English Shooting organisations had come to agreement over a code of guidelines covering the breeding of pheasants after a torturous 5 years of discussion with DEFRA. The code was agreed and the presiding DEFRA minister Jim Fitzpatrick (Labour) ratified it. BASC did not agree with it – “a matter of principle”.

In total defiance of the rest of the English shooting organisations and their membership John Swift’s BASC put up two fingers and set about to wreck the agreement (threatening the future of English game shooting).

To achieve its ‘aim’ BASC emailed Labour MP’s urging them to sign an Early Day Motion to vote for the rescinding of the agreed code. The EDM ultimately gained 203 MP’s signatures.  Given that 60 signatures are regarded as a highly successful outcome, against an average of 30 or so, this was an almost unprecedented outcome.

All of this was expertly and enthusiastically executed by Damiam Mcbride Christopher Graffius director of communications (mentioned in dispatches at the 2015 AGM see below, and attached).

Another BASC figure mentioned in the 2015 AGM dispatches, Martin Salter, tabled the Early Day Motion for BASC in Parliament.

Also see text supporting banning of ‘raised cages campaign’ that was used to urge MP’s to sign up:

Jim Fitzpatrick** took note and a few weeks before the end of the Parliamentary session, duly withdrew the Code without any consultation with the other signature parties to the Code.

For those who so far find all this a bit incredulous let me repeat, John Swift’s BASC deliberately set out to bring down an agreement with DEFRA that all of the English shooting organisations had spent the previous 5 years fighting for and, indeed, had achieved.

The BASC responded that it had gone to great lengths to defy the settled position on ‘raise cages’ that the rest of English shooting representatives had fought so hard for, they said;  We make no bones about pursuing our aim, which the elected Council and relevant advisory committees of BASC have long considered necessary…”

Labour lost the Election and the new DEFRA Minister Jim Paice (Conservative) reinstated the Code at the urging of the CA and others within the first weeks of his office. BASC did not agree or urge a reinstatement of the code.

Since that time a 2 year long DEFRA report, at the cost of over £400,000 (completed in 2012) has finally been released. The report firmly and conclusively endorsed the stance taken by the English Shooting Public, and its shooting organisations.

The current BASC CEO and Council ‘welcomed’ the DEFRA report, but failed to acknowledge the outrageous and disgraceful act of sabotage it committed against the Code in 2010 and the English Shooting Public hoping no-one would remember their intended damage.

An utterly catastrophic event was only rectified by a change of government. That is how serious it was then and is now. This is why the BASC is held in utter contempt by many, many, English shooters. But that was not the end of it.

You can imagine the pit of horror the shooting Public descended into upon discovering that the same John Swift, with the blessing of the BASC Council, was made Chairman of the Lead Ammunition Group. Unfortunately this blight on shooting continues.

**Fitzpatrick was and still is a keen animal welfare/rights campaigner. He is no friend of shooting, then or now. It is amusing to note he is chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Primary Headache Disorders, a headache indeed, watch out for him.


Arnold Chapkis – October 16th 2015 (1)

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Reading the smoke signals

What is going to happen with lead shot?

I believe that as the Minister has two conflicting reports he will be unable to take any action.

However: reading the smoke signals around the little pieces of information I’ve pick up over the last 6 months we may not be see a total ban on lead but clay shooting and game shooting may be asked to reduce their use of lead.

The first little tip bit is John Batley’s resignation letter, June 3rd 2015,  to the Minister.

John Batley said in his resignation letter: 3rd June 2015

“I further believe that a concerted effort by the shooting community could considerably minimise the deposit of spent lead shot on and around clay shooting grounds and game shoots and this could achieve a very considerable reduction of spent lead deposited in the environment.”   

Then add to this the comments for a member of BASC staff on Pigeon Watch Forum on the 22nd of June 2015.

DavidBASC June 22 2015 pigeon watch

panoma1, thank you and I fully understand your point, I just council caution that any suggested change must be thought through carefully.

I accept this is a personal view, but for example on the shoot where I help with the ‘keepering, 7 out of 10 drives have a stream or pond within them, the shoot as a whole is ‘blessed’ with natural wetlands of this type and given the potential for shot to travel 250m or more,its not possible to simply adjust the positioning of the guns to prevent lead falling on to these features…I bet my shoot is not unique…

So my question is, is having the ability to shoot a duck over inland habitats with lead sufficient grounds for potentially restricting the shooting of all other species over a range of habitats that are not necessarily key holding areas for duck / geese inland?

John Batley talks about a concerted effort by the us and DavidBASC [whoever he is] talks about not using lead within 250 meters of any stream or pond on a game shoot.

Now do you see what could be on the cards?