Limitations of European Union policy and law for regulating use of lead shot and sinkers: Comparisons with North American regulation

Vernon G. Thomas, Raimon Guitart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Extensive shooting and angling causes, indirectly, fatal lead poisoning of birds. European Union policy on this major source of pollution is inconsistent with its laws regulating other forms of lead in the environment. Only three countries have banned the use of lead shot completely in the European Union, despite availability of substitutes and evidence that their use is a major contributor to bird conservation. The European Commission uses the criterion of amount of lead deposited and corroded, and the concentration of lead in water and soil, as the basis of their decisions. The USA and Canada used the prevalence of lead poisoning among birds as the basis of policy and law allowing them to reduce lead use at the continental level. The EU and North American policies and law on lead reduction are compared in this study, on the basis of which recommendations are developed indicating how the EU could revise its approach and resolve this environmental problem. Reluctance to act on lead reduction by the European Parliament and its member states refl ects the current vested interests of the sporting communities. Companies in eight European countries already produce non-toxic materials for hunting and shooting, and are not the limiting factor in this issue. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-72
JournalEnvironmental Policy and Governance
Volume20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

Keywords

  • EU
  • Fishing
  • Lead poisoning
  • Marketing
  • Non-toxic substitutes
  • Policy
  • Shooting
  • US legislation

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