Voluntary transition by hunters and game meat suppliers from lead to non-lead shotgun ammunition: changes in practice after three years

  • Published source details Green R.E., Taggart M.A., Pain D.J., Clark N.A., Clewley L., Cromie R., Green R.M.W., Giui M., Huntley B., Huntley J., Leslie R., Porter R., Roberts J., Robinson J.A., Robinson R.A., Sheldon R., Smith K.W., Smith L., Spencer J. & Stroud D. (2023) Voluntary transition by hunters and game meat suppliers from lead to non-lead shotgun ammunition: changes in practice after three years. Conservation Evidence, 20, 1-7.


In 2020, UK shooting and rural organisations pledged to achieve a voluntary transition from the use of lead shotgun ammunition to non-lead alternatives for hunting by 2025. The SHOT-SWITCH research project was set up in 2020 to monitor progress towards this aim by examining the proportions of wild-shot common pheasants Phasianus colchicus available to consumers in Great Britain that were killed using lead and non-lead shot. In the study’s third season, 2022/2023, 94% of pheasants sampled had been killed using lead ammunition. Statistically, this is a significantly smaller proportion than in the preceding two seasons (both > 99% lead), but it remains large. We found no direct evidence of any effect of recent voluntary initiatives to promote the replacement of lead with non-lead ammunition by suppliers and retailers of wild-shot game.

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