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14 June, 2024
 
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NGO calls on Cyprus authorities to implement ban on lead pellets

Lead ammunition is banned from EU wetlands.

Source: CNA

Lead shot ammunition in wetlands is illegal in all 27 EU countries including Cyprus, as well as Iceland, Norway, and Lichtenstein, BirdLife Cyprus announced and called on local authorities once more to ensure that non-lead pellets are being used in hunting areas that are found close to or within wetlands.

In a press release, on Wednesday, it says the law comes into force following a 2-year “grace” period given to the EU countries to prepare for the change.

"In Cyprus, there’s already legislation in place which prohibits the use of lead ammunition within a 300m radius from wetlands, salt lakes and dams."

With this law in place, the lives of the estimated 1 million waterbirds that currently die of lead poisoning in the EU every year will be saved and the perpetuation of extreme poisoning of wetland wildlife will end. The ban will also decrease the secondary poisoning of raptors and scavengers, which are regularly poisoned while eating prey contaminated with lead shot.

The BirdLife Partnership, including BirdLife Cyprus, has been working to have this poisonous ammunition banned for more than 20 years, the press release says.

"In Cyprus, there’s already legislation in place which prohibits the use of lead ammunition within a 300m radius from wetlands, salt lakes and dams. Despite this, in areas where hunting is allowed, such as Lake Soros in Meneou which is part of the Larnaka Salt Lakes, high levels of lead have been recorded," it adds.

Moreover, it points out that in a survey done in 2021, 50% of Cypriot hunters asked were unaware of the existence of alternative pellets that don’t contain lead.

“Considering this European ban, BirdLife Cyprus calls on the authorities once more to ensure that non-lead pellets are being used in hunting areas that are found close to or within wetlands,” it remarks.

Beyond wetlands, the BirdLife Partnership pledges to continue to stand up to the ammunition industry and hunting lobby to ensure Europe has the non-toxic environment it deserves, it added.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  environment  |  hunting

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