The League Against Cruel Sports today called for an end to the use of lead shot within the UK’s game shooting industry. The charity's call follows a recent EU wide study into the practice by the European Chemicals Agency, which has been strongly criticised by the neo-feudal Countryside Alliance.
Joe Duckworth, Chief Executive of the League Against Cruel Sports says: "It frankly flies in the face of the facts that the Countryside Alliance is defending the use of lead shot. I agree with Joe’s observations.
The truth is the case against using lead shot is overwhelming. It is already banned in several EU countries, including Norway, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands. But the gun-toting bloodsports fanatics are not interested in taking even this minimal step to reduce the environmental impact of their repugnant activities.
Thousands of tonnes of highly toxic lead shot are discharged into the countryside each year. Lead not only contaminates rivers, lakes and soil, it is ingested by predators that feed on shot birds and is eaten by water birds mistaking the shot particles for seeds or small molluscs when feeding.
Studies show that lead poisoning causes between nine per cent and 31 per cent of deaths in various species of ducks and geese and has been found in 33 species of bird of prey and 30 species of other land birds, including some of our most treasured and rare species.
This latest episode once again demonstrates that the Countryside Alliance is anything but an alliance of people concerned about the countryside. It’s merely a front for a tiny minority who obtain some kind of sordid pleasure from killing wildlife. Their activities defile our beautiful British Countryside.
George Monbiot summed up the Countryside Alliance's campaign against a ban on lead shot as “motivated not by any practical or economic concerns, but by the age-old attitude of reactionary members of the landowning classes.” He says these people are “supercilious, blinkered and supremely selfish” who have “had their way in Britain for far too long.”
I couldn’t have put it better myself.