Hunters call for financial assistance to change their rifle

The measure must protect the environment as much as the hunters: lead ammunition, used for decades, will be banned from mid-February within 100 meters of any wetland, permanent or temporary. The rule, promulgated by a European regulation published in 2021, will be sanctioned, in case of non-compliance, with a fine of 135 euros. What annoys the main stakeholders, who ask for financial help to replace their gun, reports Le Parisien, Thursday, September 8. Because even if the use of lead ammunition was already restricted, with the ban on shooting with lead at 30 meters of a body of water from 2006, it is not necessary applied to the letter.

The reason? Steel cartridges, supposed to replace lead because they are less harmful to the environment and to humans, are not popular with hunters. Last year, one of them explained, to our colleagues of the French Hunter, his reluctance to shoot with “steel shot”, only kept in his pocket in case of control. “I tried, but it’s worthless, it hurts and that’s all,” testified the last one.

Between 650 and 975 million euros to replace hunting weapons, according to the FNC

Alternatives to lead ammunition will be more expensive, less effective and above all incompatible with steel guns without heads, plead the main interested parties. In other words: to get out of the guns of the grandparents, it would be necessary to either transform or buy new guns to comply with the new regulations. Knowing that a weapon costs on average “between 1,000 and 1,500 euros”, the National Federation of Hunters (FNC) is asking for state participation to replace it. “At the national level, the cost of replacing hunting weapons is estimated between 650 and 975 million euros,” writes the FNC on its website.

The request is indecency, I believe for his part Allain Bougrain-Dubourg, the president of the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO), questioned by our colleagues in Paris. “The hunters will be able to show maturity and responsibility. They are already receiving help to adapt their practices”, he faces. For years, legislation has tried to put an end to the presence of lead in the environment, a toxic metal for fauna and flora.

Environment, birds, big game and polluted humans

In addition to the 127 million birds believed to be at risk of lead poisoning each year from ingesting spreading pellets, according to a 2021 assessment by the EU Chemicals Agency, the presence of lead in cartridges it also weighs, on the scale of the 27, on the neurological development of a million children, threatened by the consumption of game, the meat is contaminated by the blow.

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In France, ANSES, the National Agency for Health, Food, Environment and Occupational Safety, therefore recommends limiting the consumption of big game to a maximum of three times a year, or even to nothing for children and women of childbearing age. years old. In each lead cartridge, there are 300 lead balls of about 30 grams. 8,000 tons of lead per year end up in nature, due to hunting, every year. However, this metal takes between thirty and two hundred years to dissolve.

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