Waitrose, which has seen record sales of game, is to ban the sale of birds shot with lead, it emerged tonight.
The move was welcomed by the Lead Ammunition Group, the government’s independent expert group, which has warned that the only way to reduce the risk to human health and wildlife is to use alternative, non-toxic ammunition instead.
Waitrose will begin phasing out the use of lead shot on the estates from which it sources game during this winter’s shooting season, according to the Guardian.
By the 2020-21 shooting season, all of the supermarket’s game will be “brought to bag” without the use of lead ammunition.
John Gregson, Waitrose’s senior manager of agri-food communications, said: “We expect high standards from our game suppliers and have been really pleased with their support.”
Several scientists and experts, including the former government adviser Prof Lord John Krebs and the Oxford academic Prof Christopher Perrins, have called on the government to take action on lead shot.
A Waitrose spokesperson said: “From season 2019/20, we will begin phasing out the use of lead shot on the Estates from which we source game, requiring instead that the estates require their guns to use lead alternatives such as steel or bismuth. By season 2020/21 all of our game will be brought to bag without the use of any lead ammunition.”