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Posts posted by Fellside

  1. 3 minutes ago, McSpredder said:

    UK modellers Rhys Green and Debbie Pain reported that they “used observations from two studies of Greenland adults (Bjerregaard et al. 2004; Johansen et al. 2006) to derive an empirical relationship between the mean daily intake of dietary lead from the meat of shot birds and mean B-Pb”, omitting to mention that the Greenland scientists found lead concentration in one species (eider) to be 8.3 times as high as in the other species (thick-billed murre).

    Anybody who has actually looked at the various papers from the Greenland studies can hardly fail to have noticed that the numbers of samples were small and the variability within each species was also very large, leading to:

    • an eight-fold range in the 95% confidence limits for the 25 carcases of eider;
    • a twelve-fold range in the 95% confidence limits for the 32 carcases of thick-billed murre.

    I assume that HSE staff who prepared the Annex 15 Restriction Report might have been unaware of small sample sizes and great variability of data on which the mathematical model was founded, otherwise they might not be presenting it to government as a basis for legislation.


    Ornithologists issuing predictions about child health have excluded any mention of data published by the UK Health Security Agency’s Lead Exposure in Children Surveillance System (LEICSS) or Public Health England’s Surveillance of Elevated Blood Lead in Children (SLiC).   Why?   Could it be because real data does not agree with the model?

    The ornithologists predict that 48,000 children may be at risk solely as a result of eating game meat.   By contrast, health professionals have recorded on average fewer than 40 cases per year in which UK children suffered elevated blood lead concentration from any source.   The most common cause was ingestion by very young children of non-dietary objects, and no cases at all were identified as resulting from food intake.  

    Publications cited by HSE indicate that high-level consumers of game meat tend to be people with higher income and higher position in society, whereas health professionals report that cases of elevated blood lead concentration in children were mostly found in areas of considerable deprivation.

    The HSE consultation refers to official records in relation to animals under the Veterinary Medicines Directorate National Surveillance Scheme, but excludes any mention of the equivalent records relating to children (LEICSS and SLiC).  

    I can only assume that modellers and HSE staff:

    • considered official surveillance information to be irrelevant, OR
    • examined the data recorded by health professionals and decided that it was incorrect, OR
    • were ignorant of the existence of surveillance schemes relating to child health.


    Presumably the papers published in scientific journals would have been subject to peer-review.   The reviewers might have been insufficiently familiar with the subject matter, and failed to notice the omission of surveillance data;  alternatively, they may have regarded it as perfectly acceptable.  


    Predictions about effects of lead ammunition on human health have often been written by the same people who assert enormous damage to wildlife and the environment.   If they have withheld or distorted information relating to human health, anything they have written on other topics might be equally unreliable.  

    Most interesting - thanks.

  2. 15 minutes ago, PeterHenry said:

    My understanding - and I am, genuinely, happy to be proved wrong on this point - is that the general licences are longer and more complicated as a direct result to them being made watertight. Owing to our continued adherence to the Birds Directive, and the subsequent Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, to be considered legal the General Licences had to be far more specific in relation to what would be shot and when. Obviously, they also had to be usable in practice - which is why we are where we are, and they are tempered with reasonableness clauses. That's just the way it is with a lot of law.

    The 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act was there all along and the previous GLs allowed for an exemption, as do the current GLs. What changed primarily, after the WJ attack, was that Juniper was stubbornly obstinate re the need for evidence before shooting. It was pressure from the House of Commons Committee and Gove as the DEFRA minister, which resulted in the GL ‘get out clauses’ and wording which is difficult to legally challenge….watertight as you would say. We don’t have Juniper to thank for this however. It is for these, and other anti shooting stances that Juniper has taken, which make him an odd bedfellow for BASC….very odd. 

  3. The new general licences are pages longer than the previous ones, with new clauses and additions, and minus the collared dove etc. etc. only because Mr Juniper insisted on these amendments. That is why the new licences caused so much initial confusion. Thankfully as the dust settled we realised they are also full of legal contradictions and ‘get out clauses’ primarily due to direct intervention from DEFRA (often at a ministerial level). Thus we can use them without fear of crossing legal red lines.

    If Mr Juniper, a close friend and associate of Mark Avery, had entirely got his way, let me assure you, we would be in a very different boat - a very leaky one. 

    It is understandable that for these and other reasons, BASCs recent association with Juniper is surprising. This isn’t BASC bashing by the way, as in many respects the Org’s have had no choice but to ride the green wave or be swamped by it. Many of us acknowledge this. However BASC have some explaining to do re Juniper. 

    As for the badger cull, I freely confess to knowing little about it. 

  4. 11 hours ago, PeterHenry said:

    Tony Juniper isn't a member of Wild Justice and to my knowledge never has been - he's the head of Natural England. Despite the fact that he isn't someone who can be described by any means as a field sports enthusiast - the fact that BASC have got him writing in their magazine at all is proof of their political bridge building.

    Would you rather BASC boycott the man in charge of the department largely responsible for issuing the general licences?

    He may not be a member of Wild Justice - but is so closely aligned he may as well be. He was also single handedly responsible for cancelling the General Licences when Wild Injustice challenged them. A more anti-shooting bunny hugger you could not find….!!

  5. Apparently steel shot aren’t made like ball bearings. I have heard that for shot manufacturing - they cut sections of wire then roll them under pressure…?

    I’m sure that if or when we end up using steel, market demand and competition (as we have with lead shot currently) will generate more availability. We just don’t have a mass market yet as there is little demand. 

  6. 21 minutes ago, grahamch said:

    There's a lot of chatter on here about 28s and 410s, how many folk actually own or use one? Not that many I suspect, are folk over reacting I wonder?

    Would also be interesting to see how many folk actually use old UK made side by sides and are moaning that they are now allegedly redundant and worthless. There are several 2.5 inch steel loads on the market and the Danes have been doing it for years.

    Yes stupid extreme/high bird shoots may fold but that would probably be a good thing for the overall public perception of shooting.

    I don’t think legislative manoeuvres, which would cause the demise of any caliber, would be welcome. As for the 410, many have a great affection for this little gun. For a long time they have been popular as first guns for juniors - I think hence the nostalgia factor and ownership among adults revisiting their childhood. 

  7. 1 minute ago, Weihrauch17 said:

    I have been in it 22 years and usually shoot between 3 and 5 a day.  Last year our birds vanished, we got innundated with Foxes and our releasing part of the land was sold at Auction with many viewings and I suspect poaching also on the back of this.  We were far off the beaten track and remote but got advertised to the country.  It was also ridiculously warm throughout the season, we had one cold day the whole season.

    Challenging times - I hope you have much better season this year. Good luck!

  8. 9 minutes ago, Weihrauch17 said:

    I took early retirement partly to keep youngsters in work when Covid struck, I was at an age when I could get at my Pension so I did wanted 3 more years but unreal times.  I don't have an index linked Pension so inflation and huge Shoot increases  I cannot protect against.  The warm weather last season saw us return 20% of our usual bag that we have returned for the last 22 years I have been in.  We shot 50 odd birds from 600 put down and the fees are now £1050.  I shot 5 last season and the season before we put 700 down then could only shoot 3 days because of restrictions.  A real shame but I can't see things changing the climate is warming, we rarely have true winters now.  I think we should just pay the rent and rough shoot.

    There could be all sorts of reasons why you’re getting a poor return - but 5 birds to your own gun for a season….?!

    I would almost rather play golf…and I don’t even like the game…..🙂

  9. Wheat is only one part of the equation. Depending on who’s crystal ball you’re looking in to, it could be £275/tonne or £350/tonne at UK harvest this year. That’s not a deal breaker for pheasant shooting, as it only increases overall shoot running costs by about 20% - 25%. The real problem will be the lack of poults. The UK is only 30% self sufficient in poults and the bird flu knee-jerk from DEFRA has cut off 70% of our European eggs and chicks overnight. This when bird flu is already widespread in the UK….?!

    Stable door closed, horse bolted etc. DEFRA should have had an army of vets random sampling a percentage of livestock - checking / screening for disease. Instead we have catastrophic damage to UK rural livelihoods. Where is the ministry of common sense in this…..??!! Rant ends. 

  10. 3 hours ago, scolopax said:

    Blooming fishermen wanting everything killing just so there buzzers do not get tripped.  

    most commercial fisheries are mysteriously devoid of water birds.  Many arrive, few leave. 

    Not quite. Canada’s are on the GLs as they are an invasive species - which competitively exclude native wildfowl. They’re very aggressive. For example, a small lake near me, with lovely mixed nesting habitat and islands etc, has just one pair of canadas on it. If it was my lake……??!!

  11. I think sadly we are all fiddling while Rome burns. And it is not changes in metal types for shot manufacturing, legal or financial threats…..or indeed any of the common woes we all discuss endlessly, which will see the demise of shooting. 

    I’m afraid the biggest single threat to all forms of field sports is its ageing participants and lack of youth interest. While there are of course exceptions, this powerful trend can not be denied. I do a lot of fishing too - and if you look at the average trout fishing comp’ on a local lake I sometimes fish, the team photos look like an outing from an old folks home, and there aren’t many teams left either. It’s the same in a lot of shooting syndicates too of course. 

    I know that some PW contributors have made great efforts in helping youngsters to get started. Full marks! However, we need a seriously well coordinated effort from the org’s, country estates, RFDs, clay grounds and all, to really turn this situation around!!! What I generally find, is that there are plenty of willing youngsters if you offer them a chance, but they (or more often their parents) don’t have any knowledge or confidence in gaining access …so they don’t….and that’s a great shame.

  12. 23 minutes ago, TIGHTCHOKE said:

    But the problem I have with Mole Valley is that they rarely have much in stock or anyone who knows what shotgun cartridges are.

    I have in the past cleared them out of anything worth having, but it is hard work as they seem unwilling to sell them.

    Mole are hopeless. They seem to price them per box and panic if you ask for a thousand, as though it’s absurd to sell that many….?! I have on occasion had to buy a slab of pigeon cart’s from them - but only as a last resort. 

  13. 1 hour ago, Old farrier said:

    It’s easy enough 

    however I don’t feel it geared towards a individual response 

    also a lot of discrimination in some of the questions 

    why ? 
    why should a elite athlete be treated any different from a ordinary person 

    how do you become elite if you can’t practice with the same equipment?

    Yes I agree re discrimination and also clunky language and descriptions. Plenty of opportunity to point those out in the response boxes though.  I see the Environment Agency have chipped in too…?!

  14. 55 minutes ago, Pushandpull said:

    This is a government consultation. Its arrival is entirely predictable and it appears to be broadly in line with what is happening in other European countries.

    So not very good news for many of us.

    We must therefore look to our organisations to work for acceptable mitigations and to inform our individual responses. I fail to see how BASC or any other organisation can be blamed for this happening. Back in the day, folk were blaming (and still do blame) BASC for the ban on lead for wildfowling. But in reality the fate of lead was sealed when H.M. government signed the African Eurasian Waterfowl Agreement. All BASC could really do was manage a fighting retreat which allowed the time to develop effective non-toxic ammunition, but there was no way they could turn back the tide.

    Some of us are quite capable of informing our own individual responses - which is fortunate in the absence of any steer whatsoever from BASC. I would estimate that there’s a huge amount of experience and knowledge among PW members, which should form an important contribution. 

    For anyone considering a response, pour yourself a cuppa then just click on the link and start - it’s as simple as that! 

  15. 51 minutes ago, McSpredder said:

    It is difficult to respond to a consultation until you know exactly what is being asked.   I have only looked at the opening page, which demands contact details (and consent to use of unspecified cookies) before even the first question can be revealed.


    Can anybody (perhaps one of the shooting organisations) can reveal the full content?

    Hi McSpredder,

    I have completed the consultation questionnaire. There is nothing personal or sensitive being asked for. I think they just want your details to avoid any inappropriate flack - quite a normal thing with government forms. 

    Some of the questions are a little strange - as they assume that you’re a clay shooting ground owner - asking about feasibility re lead shot recovery  etc. There is also a section on muzzle loaders - which I couldn’t answer - as I have no relevant experience. You will find most of it relevant however. 

    There is plenty of room for comment - so you can make your case. They ask for evidence based points where possible……but your experience is evidence right?!

    I would encourage anyone to complete it. 

  16. 6 minutes ago, Stonepark said:

    Thanks Stonepark - hugely useful. I’m sure a lot of people will be completing this quick questionnaire about the REACH proposals. I would still urge all concerned to send emails to MPs, as there needs to be some chatter and awareness ‘in the house’. Some MPs will not even be aware of this issue. Is it worth a 2 minute couple of sentences? They need to feel some constituent pressure. They certainly won’t act without it…..!!!!

  17. 50 minutes ago, 8 shot said:

    The BASC have reps that post regularly on here and to be fair to one, we exchange several emails when this first started, and to his credit we had a phone conversation for over an hour, out of his hours on a Saturday afternoon. So they are hearing what’s being said. 

    Hi 8 shot, thanks for that. Yes it’s encouraging that BASC are engaged. I have had similar ‘off-line’ conversations myself. I was rather hoping that policy decision makers and those involved in the REACH initiative, particularly the HSE, would take note. 

  18. It is reasonable to demand that the so called decision makers allow for a special derogation re using a 410 and lead shot for certain vermin control circumstances. This could be with consideration for steel shot having the propensity to rebound off stoney ground or buildings etc. The HSE (one of the key protagonists in this debacle) should be made aware of these risks. Additionally, it could be argued that the 410 is ballistically unsuitable for the larger steel shot required for humane lethality. Therefore there may be a robust rationale for the continuance of lead shot - especially in the absence of any affordable alternative. Bearing in mind the moderated 410 is often a necessary tool in some circumstances, I would hope….I say HOPE… that this is born out in policy. 

    If key decision makers have any sense of being connected with the shooting community, and that is a big if, they (or probably their researchers and info gatherers) should be looking at the main representative forums such as PW. If any of them are…..hello and welcome….. please would they kindly take note of my points. 

    I will of course be putting these points to my local MP (and shooting org’). I would urge others to do similar. 

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