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Outcomes from monitoring the fourth year of a five-year voluntary transition from hunting with lead to non-lead shotgun ammunition in Britain

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Green, RE 
Taggart, MA 
Pain, DJ 
Clark, NA 
Clewley, L 


jats:pThe 2023/2024 shooting season was the fourth since UK shooting and rural organisations announced their intention that hunters should make a full voluntary transition from the use of lead to non-lead shotgun ammunition by 2025. The SHOT-SWITCH research project has monitored 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 each of the shooting seasons since the beginning of the transition. In the study’s fourth season, 2023/2024, 93% of pheasants obtained during the usual sampling period had been killed using lead ammunition. Whilst this indicates a marginal decline in the proportion of pheasants shot using lead since the beginning of the transition, when it was over 99%, much remains to be done if the intended full voluntary transition to non-lead shotgun ammunition is to be achieved in its final season (2024/2025). Some food retailers intend to cease selling game meat products from animals killed using lead ammunition. Our study indicates that whilst all of a small sample of pheasant carcasses obtained from one of these retailers (Marks & Spencer) were from birds killed using non-lead shot, a larger sample obtained from another of the retailers (Waitrose) had mostly been killed using lead shot.</jats:p>



41 Environmental Sciences, 4104 Environmental Management

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Conservation Evidence

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Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge