The lead ban phase I was shot down again in REACH committee on 4th of February.
The scope of the first phase of EU Commissions political and ideological lead ban is to use ban of lead pellets in wetlands as an excuse for full on ban of lead shotgun ammunition – not just in hunting but all sports.
The actual ban, which is about hunting with lead pellets in wetlands, (already banned or at least highly regulated in almost all EU member states) has some profound flaws which was why this proposal already shot down once earlier:
The definition of « wetlands » is done in such a way that proposal in practice applies to use of lead in all areas which fulfill the Ramsar definition of wetlands: « wetlands are areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres.” In addition to this, there was originally 400 meter buffer zone proposed.
This has several issues:
– The ban would be impossible to monitor
– The ban would basically impossible to follow, because hunter has no idea whether there is for example peat under the top soil or not.
– The definition is so wide that many shooting range (most in some countries) would be « wetlands ».
– The only realistic way of implementing in some enforceable way would be full on ban, which also impacts sport shooting and naturally also law enforcement through ammunnition availability
As the first version was shot down commission proposed another « revised » version, where buffer zone was changed from 400 to 300 meters and period of transition was changed from 18 to 24 months.
So basically none of the core issues were addressed.
As a result, it was proposed by Slovenia, Austria, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Finland, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Hungary and Ireland to name a few.
Score is 2-0 for the good guys now.
However, according to our information, to Commission this is a political issue and they want to see it through.
This means that this proposal is like Jason Voorhees* – you can shoot it (down) as many times as you like, but it just keeps coming back.
*Jason Voorhees refers in the contex of this article to a fictional character from the movie Friday the 13th.