“Total ban on lead ammunition is worrying, particularly for sports enthusiasts”
A recommendation by the European Chemicals Agency is expected to enter into force in all European Union countries prohibiting the use of lead ammunition near wetlands, ie – areas of land saturated by water, at a distance of 300 metres .
MEP Alex Agius Saliba is one of the European Parliament members of the Intergroup on hunting said that this proposal should worry hunters and hobbyists who practice the sport of shooting. He added that this recommendation was unfair because it puts countries in the same basket.
“If this definition is heeded and taken on board it will create a situation where you will have a total ban and where lead can’t be used at all by hunting enthusiasts and sportsmen.”
Lucas Micallef spokesman for the Federation for Hunting and Conservation said the distance imposed by the European Commission will virtually put an end to the use of lead in Malta. Mr Micallef said that if this rule comes into force it will bring huge financial burden on enthusiasts who would have to use different cartridges.
“These cartridges are ten times more expensive than normal cartridges and that will obviously limit the ability for many of them to be able to practice this sport because they will have to change their firearm in order to practise the sport.”
Dr Agius Saliba said that along with other MEPS, he is hoping that their efforts would lead to a change in the policy recommendation.
“We started with a buffer zone of 500 metres which was total madness and this was reduced; the second proposal was 400 metres and the last proposal is that of 300 metres.”
He argued that it was not possible for a recommendation like this to go unnoticed by Parliament and to be ignored in discussion forums and then be applied to the European Union member countries without consultation.