Have you ever heard of anyone dying from lead poisoning after eating game? Quite. But now, the very future of shooting as we know it is coming under threat from a working party that has been set up to investigate the supposed dangers of lead shot.

Some members of the working group, such as Mark Avery of the RSPB, are already vehemently opposed to lead, and others, such as the Countryside Alliance, were originally not included. It smacks of a set-up. Everything has been done with undue haste.

Although there’s no UK-based evidence for a total ban on lead, nobody should assume that the outcome would be favourable for shooting. A ban would see the cost of using lead alternatives with traditional British shotguns rise from 15p a cartridge to £1 a pop. It will become solely a rich-man’s sport.

Equally, lead has been proven beyond doubt to be the most effective substance for killing game-the alternatives simply leave more wounded birds. This is a dangerous and creeping attack on shooting that many shooters have described as the biggest threat to the sport in their lifetime. Let’s make sure the findings are based on science not prejudice.

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