Avery grudgingly admits that foxes and deer are shot on RSPB reserves, and goes on to say that the RSPB feels that moving to non-toxic ammo is "a responsible and precautionary move for the good of people and wildlife".
Remarkably he states categorically that "there are perfectly good non-lead alternatives to most ammunition which we have tested or are testing on our sites". I'd be interested to see that data.
And he drops the hint again about "representative shooting bodies with whom we have had detailed and frequent discussions on this subject over the last 14 months or so".
The 'phasing out' of lead shot has been a growing theme on this blog - click here to see all the related posts. From my own discussions with individuals at organisations like BASC it's clear they believe that lead shot and bullets are on borrowed time.
I'm still unconvinced by the science behind it all, but in the end I don't think it will make the slightest difference. Lead is going, and we'll just have to get used to it.
I've used non-toxic shotgun ammo, and found it either inferior or considerably more expensive or both - but it still works. As for non-lead rifle bullets, I've no personal experience but I know that some US hunters are having to use them. I think it's time I started taking more of an interest in how well (or not) they work. After all, I'm thinking about buying a new centrefire rifle, and I'd kick myself if I got something that proved to be unsuitable with non-lead ammo.