Hunters all over the world are confronted with the question: what hunting rifle ammunition should I use? There are as well scientific as political arguments over the environmental impact of toxic substances, notably lead in ammunition. Conflicting research findings confuse the ammunition users who wish to avoid any risks to the environment, the game and human health. The CIC, in 2009, took the initiative to address this issue by providing the first international meeting, the joint CIC-WFSA-FACE platform on hunting ammunition, in order to have all parties involved at one table. On 13 February 2015 the CIC and FACE held an international workshop, which was a further step, building on past experiences, to assist decision makers in having the broadest picture on this complex and controversial matter.
In light of evidence of the harmful effects of lead ammunition on wildlife and health risks for game meat consumers, the workshop focussed on the latest findings on the practicality of lead-free rifle ammunition in hunting. The event took place during one of the biggest hunting exhibitions of Eastern- and Central Europe, the FEHOVA (International Exhibition on Fishing, Hunting and Arms) in Budapest and was supported by the Association of European Manufacturers of Sporting Ammunition (AFEMS) and RWS Ammunition.
A wide range of experts from Europe and overseas – including representatives of the ammunition industry, ballistic experts, professional hunters and food security agents participated. In the discussion lead was compared with innovative, lead-free rifle ammunition for hunting. Opinions, some of them diverging, were expressed on the effects on the hygiene of game meat, impact on food security and consequences for the performing of hunting itself.
Tamás Marghescu, Director General of CIC, drew attention to the fact that lead is a toxic substance. CIC is therefore interested in reducing and phasing-out the use of lead in ammunition, provided sufficiently tested, safe and non-toxic alternative ammunition is available. Filippo Segato, Secretary General of FACE, pointed out that the hunting community has the duty to lead the debate on ammunition, from the point of view of safety, hygiene and legislation. The current discussion around lead ammunition with its many developments is technically very complex and politically highly charged.
The majority of the speakers did not speak against the use of lead-free ammunition, but warned against an immediate ban of lead in ammunition. There was a general understanding that more research is needed to make it easier for hunters to choose among the various ammunition alternatives. The presentations by the speakers can be found on the CIC Video Channel.
At the inauguration of the FEHOVA exhibition, George Aman, Deputy President of the CIC, gave an opening speech. He encouraged hunters’ associations and state forest enterprises to designate special hunting areas where lead-free rifle ammunition can be tested by hunters. In such areas extensive feedback and practical information about the use of the various innovative ammunition could be gathered.
Building on the foundation of the work of a joint CIC-WFSA*-FACE platform on hunting ammunition, CIC is co-organising an international workshop with FACE on hunting ammunition supported by the Association of European Manufacturers of Sporting Ammunition (AFEMS) and RWS Ammunition.
The workshop takes place during one of the biggest hunting exhibitions of Eastern- and Central Europe, the FEHOVA (Exhibition on Fishing, Hunting and Arms International Exhibition) in Budapest, on 13 February 2015.
Participation is free and doesn’t require pre-registration.
*WFSA – World Forum on Shooting Activities