Kelleher given ‘crucial role’ in EU parliament debate on lead ammunition

Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher has said that he has been given “a crucial role” in the upcoming European Parliament debate on a proposal to ban lead ammunition in and around wetlands.

Kelleher has been appointed one of the ‘shadow rapporteurs’ on the parliament’s Environment Committee, following his lodging of a formal objection to the proposal, which would, he said, “effectively write off the use of lead gunshot in Ireland”.

“I’m delighted with this appointment as it will give me a direct role in developing the resolution that will be put before all members of the European Parliament,” the Ireland South MEP said.

I am not against the phased elimination of lead gunshot but under the current proposals it would be a disaster for farmers and gun sports enthusiasts in Ireland.

“The current proposals, I believe, are disproportionate and unenforceable. Worse still, it contains a clause that would criminalise a farmer for just carrying lead gunshot near water,” Kelleher claimed.

Kelleher argued that the proposal for the ban “doesn’t look at the practicalities of countries such as Ireland”.

“How they can develop a proposal that categorises a puddle forming in the middle of the field as a wetland, then introduce a 100m buffer zone around it, and still think it makes sense, is beyond me,” he said.

Many of my colleagues in the Renew Europe group, and indeed across the parliament, are strongly opposed to this regulation as currently written. The European Commission needs to go back to the drawing board and start again.

“I hope other Irish colleagues will do the right thing and join me in voting in favour of the objection when it is debated in the committee and finally in a full plenary vote later this year,” Kelleher concluded.


A schedule has been set for the debate in the parliament on the proposed regulation.

The proposal was sent to the parliament from the EU’s Committee on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH Committee).

First, objectors to the proposal are asked to provide a resolution to be ready for submission by October 21.

After that, there will be an exchange of views in the committee on October 28 and 29, with the committee set to vote on the proposal at the conclusion of that exchange.

If the resolution is adapted at the committee stage, then there will possibly be a vote in a plenary session of parliament on November 1, though this is yet to be confirmed.