The National Game Dealers Association (NGDA) is the latest organisation from the UK game-shooting industry to realise, belatedly and after years of resisting, that if it is to survive then dropping products shot with toxic lead ammunition is the only way to go.
The NGDA has issued the following statement this morning:
At the National Game Dealers Association ( NGDA) annual general meeting members voted to commit to sourcing all feather and fur Game as well as venison and wild boar from lead-free supply chains from the 1st of July 2022.
This was agreed in order to future proof the sale of Game meat in their customer’s businesses, and to ensure continued consumer growth from those people seeking to enjoy our healthy delicious game products. This is a positive move for our industry to protect the environment and further assure our products in a highly competitive market place. The NGDA and its members will be working with the relevant industry groups to ensure, with this notice, our supply chains are able to make a transition.
If you have any concerns as a supplier to an NGDA member, please discuss your individual requirements with them or the NGDA.
Chairman National Game Dealers Association.
This U-turn from the NGDA comes hot on the heels of an announcement from the Westminster Government last week that it was planning to phase out the use of poisonous lead ammunition (see here).
Amusingly, some commentators from the game shooting industry are trying to portray the NGDA’s U-turn as an example of how the industry can take sensible decisions all by itself instead of having to be dragged, kicking and screaming, in to the 21st Century by the rest of us.
Not very convincing when you consider that the NGDA Chair, Stephen Crouch, was one of those who resigned from the Lead Ammunition Group in May 2015 when the group’s official report to Government advocated a recommendation to ban the use of lead ammunition. Mr Crouch, along with the others who resigned (John Batley, Gun Trade Assoc; Mark Tufnell, Country Land & Business Assoc; Barney White-Spunner, Countryside Alliance) argued there was insufficient evidence to support such a move!!
The scientific evidence to support a ban on toxic lead ammunition, for the sake of human health, wildlife and the environment, has not changed at all since 2015. It’s just built and built and built.
It’s good to see the tipping point has finally been reached, after years and years of ongoing hard work by scientists such as Professor Debbie Pain and Professor Rhys Green (see here for their latest findings which showed that one year in to a so-called ‘voluntary transition’ away from lead shot by the UK game shooting industry, virtually no actual progress had been made). Although with the industry still dragging its feet and arguing that there aren’t enough supplies of non-toxic ammunition available yet and there won’t be for another four years, it’ll be fascinating to see whether the NGDA can source lead-free products from next year.
Nevertheless, it’ll be like watching falling dominos now. There is no chance of stopping what has been started. It’s just shameful that it has taken this long to get here.