The Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) was developed under the UN Convention on Migratory Species. Ireland signed up to the Agreement in 2003. The agreement includes a commitment that “Parties shall endeavour to phase out the use of lead shot for hunting in wetlands as soon as possible in accordance with self-imposed and published timetables." My Department’s position is to support the AEWA commitment to phase out the use of lead shot over wetlands.
The European Commission has published an initial draft Regulation for consideration by Member States on the use of lead shot in wetlands following a report on the matter by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
It is my understanding that the proposed regulation, should it ultimately progress into law, would make provision for a lead-in time to facilitate the making of arrangements to source alternatives to lead shot. The matter is discussed by the REACH committee of the EU and Ireland is represented at that committee by the Health and Safety Authority.
It is my Department's understanding that the majority of EU Member States currently have some restrictions on the use of lead shot over wetlands and that Ireland is one of a few Member States which have no such restrictions. In the circumstances, my Department is advocating a sufficient lead-in time. It is my understanding that no date has been set for finalisation of work on this Regulation.