It took regulation to remove lead from petrol, paint and pipes. It will take regulation to remove it from ammunition and fishing weights.
The REACH proposal – what it is
Due to the toxicity of lead and the risks it poses to people and animals, both fishing weights and ammunition made from lead are being restricted in the EU and UK under chemicals regulation REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals). This is possible due to the availability of non-toxic alternatives.
The EU’s current restriction proposal on lead fishing weights and lead ammunition in all terrestrial areas is the most important initiative yet to reduce risks to people, livestock and the wider environment.
This, along with the previous 2021 EU restriction on the use of lead shot in wetlands (designed to protect waterbirds), will also ensure sustainability of hunting and fishing.
The REACH proposal:
- is supported by scientists, medics, veterinary professionals, conservationists and progressive hunters
- will help the Zero Pollution ambition of the EU Green Deal
- will fulfil obligations under a suite of multinational agreements including:
The REACH proposal – why it's needed
The 2021 wetland restriction on lead shot was the first step to reducing risks posed by lead ammunition and served to harmonise restrictions across the EU and fulfil obligations under the African Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) to protect waterbirds.
However, there are remaining risks from lead ammunition to:
- terrestrial wildlife
- the many species of waterbirds which feed in terrestrial areas
- people eating game meat
- soils and waterways
The current restriction proposal will address those risks and additionally tackle risks to wildlife and fishers and their families from lead fishing weights.
Experts urge your support
The European Scientists “Urge the European Commission and Member States at the REACH Committee, European Council and Parliament to support such further restrictions on the use of lead ammunition across the EU”