28/08/2009

Lead Shot 'Fired'

Sportsmen won't be able to use the traditional 'lead shot' anymore.

Wildfowlers have been banned from using the poisionous shot when they are shooting over wetlands in Northern Ireland.

The ban comes in on September 1 (Tuesday) and will affect anyone who uses a shotgun near wetlands, whether it is for wildfowling, clay pigeon shooting or any other purpose.

Ironically, since the shot is used to kill birds for sport, many wildfowl also die of lead poisoning after consuming lead shot which has fallen into the mud or water where they feed.

Birds often ingest spent shot when taking in grit to aid digestion, and suffer a lingering and painful death - rather than the more 'sporting', sudden 'irreversible termination of the biological functions' attributed to being shot.
News Image
NI Environment Minister Edwin Poots said this week: "This is an important step towards meeting Northern Ireland's international commitments to conserve important wildfowl populations and our wetlands.

"A sustainable harvest of waterfowl is perfectly acceptable. However, the loss of wild ducks and geese due to lead poisoning is not, particularly when some species are under increasing pressure from other factors.

"I would like to thank the shooting associations for the positive cooperation they have given my Department in formulating these restrictions," she said, noting that she has "every confidence that the changes will go along way to sustaining our future wildfowl populations and with that in mind I appeal for all shooters to comply".

From next week, anyone shooting with lead shot on or over wetlands on or after September 1, could be convicted, earning a fine of up to £1,000.

(BMcC/KMcA)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

19 February 2018
Northern Ireland To Play Israel At Windsor Park
Northern Ireland are to play against Israel in a friendly international on Tuesday, 11 September. The match will take place at Windsor Park at 7.45pm. The game comes three days after Northern Ireland play Bosnia and Herzegovina in the UEFA Nations League at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park.
09 September 2019
Brexit On The Agenda For UK & Irish PMs
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has visited Ireland for his first meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar since he entered Downing Street. The agenda for the day was dominated by Brexit with the October deadline, the possibility of no-deal and Northern Ireland's political stalemate amongst the issues discussed by the two premieres.
10 September 2019
Valentine's Day Will See First Same-Sex Marriages
The first same-sex weddings in Northern Ireland are set to take place on Valentine's Day next year. Northern Ireland will become the last UK region to welcome same-sex unions after amendments were successfully added to a parliament bill in July.
10 September 2019
DoH Reveal Plan To Reduce Suicide Rates
A plan to reduce suicide rates in Northern Ireland by 10% over the next five years has been unveiled by the Department of Health. The 'Project Life 2' strategy aims to deliver suicide prevention services and support, with a particular focus on deprived areas where rates are over 3.5 times higher.
06 September 2019
Union To Ballot School Principals For Strike Action
A union representing school principals in Northern Ireland is set to ballot members on strike action. The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) represents school leaders, including principals and vice-principals, in around two thirds of the 1,150 local schools.