I propose to take Questions Nos. 1009 and 1010 together.
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.”
The European Commission have published a 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). My Department’s position is to support the AEWA commitment to phase out the use of lead shot over wetlands. The draft Commission Regulation, if accepted by Member States, would appear reasonable in the circumstances as it is in line with the AEWA commitment. It is also my understanding that the draft Regulation will provide for a reasonable lead-in time to allow hunters to make the necessary arrangements to source alternatives to lead shot.
My Department had already had discussions with a major hunting body on the draft Regulation and will be engaging with other interested parties on the matter.