The Oxford Lead Symposium
In 2008, wildlife and human health specialists were, for the first time, brought together at a conference in Idaho, USA, convened by The Peregrine Fund to promote a better understanding of exposure from ammunition sources and measures to reduce risks to wildlife and human health. This subsequently stimulated considerable work throughout the European Union and elsewhere on the previously relatively unrecognised risks to humans from lead ammunition consumed within game meals.
In the UK, the Lead Ammunition Group (LAG) was convened in 2010 to advise the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) of risks to humans and wildlife from lead ammunition and possible mitigation measures. As part of this process a report including substantive risk assessments and potential mitigation measures were produced. As the public debate on the risks from lead ammunition had become polarised, separate from the LAG process, there was felt to be a need for independent expert consideration of the subject from those not at the centre of this discussion. The Oxford Lead Symposium brought together a range of such experts.
The aim of the Oxford Lead Symposium was to provide an opportunity for a group of independent scientists to consider the scientific evidence surrounding the risks from lead ammunition to human and wildlife health and to hear about relevant measures that have been attempted to reduce risks. The focus was on the UK, but relevant expertise and examples were drawn from other countries where this was relevant to the UK situation.
A broad range of stakeholders were invited to the symposium including experts from the human and wildlife health communities and ammunition users including those involved in natural resource management and recreational shooting.
The outputs from the meeting, i.e. a UK-focussed proceedings are provided on this site and are aimed at helping inform interested audiences and building consensus on the science surrounding risks from lead ammunition and appropriate measures for risk reduction. Interested audiences include academics, policy makers and the human health, conservation, shooting and welfare communities.
The full agenda can be found here