MEPs table motion to fix ‘major errors’ in lead gunshot ban proposal

A number of MEPs on the European Parliament’s Environment Committee have tabled a motion to fix the “major errors” included in a European Commission proposal to ban lead gunshot in and around wetlands.

The motion is set to be voted on this coming Thursday (October 29). The resolution has been welcomed by the European Federation for Hunting and Conversation (FACE).

The resolution seeks to address what FACE says are errors in the proposal from the commission’s committee on registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals (REACH Committee) on banning the use of lead gunshot over wetlands.

The resolution supports the proposal’s overall goal and “well-intentioned objective” to phase out lead shot over wetlands, but seeks to remedy the issues thrown up by such a ban “in a concise way”.

FACE secretary general Dr. David Scallan, who is Irish, said that he is “pleading with members of the Environment Committee to adopt this motion for resolution, which will result in a major improvement towards a clear and workable law for 10 million citizens”.

“Phasing out the use of lead shot over wetlands is important, and 23 EU member states have already done this. This is not about whether we should phase out lead shot over wetlands; this is about how we do it,” he added.

FACE says that 10 million EU citizens, including hunters, farmers, sports shooters and competitive clay shooters, will be affected by the ban if it goes ahead.

The main “errors” in the commission’s proposed ban are, according to FACE, breaches of the following:

  • The principle of proportionality (that the rules of the ban are in keeping with its aim);
  • The presumption of innocence, resulting in the commission exceeding the implementing powers under the REACH Committee by creating new obligations for “consumers”;
  • The principle of legal certainty (that a regulation is clear and precise and its legal implications foreseeable to those who might be in danger of breaking it).