This month we are launching our register of lead-free shoots. The BGA delivers assurance for two reasons: to play our part in securing a future for game shooting and to secure a market for game meat. To protect that future, we need to have a strong sense of what it is going to look like, and from every conversation we have with supermarkets, restaurant chains and stockists of all shapes and sizes, that future is lead-free.
At the BGA we remain committed to the five year phase out of lead ammunition, and there are four years of the process still to run. Our priority during this time is to make sure that the flow of game meat onto the nation’s plate continues to grow, and a significant sector of the food industry wants lead-free game right now. We will work to assure every shoot and promote all game meat, but we have to ensure that those retailers who sell substantial quantities of game can continue to do so once they have made the decision to go lead-free.
The reality is that we cannot yet guarantee a lead-free product, but what we can do is start to assure lead-free shoots. This won’t be for everyone, we don’t expect all our registered shoots to make the jump straight away, and nor should they. But for those that are able to transition now, and wish to market their game as having been shot on lead-free shoots, we are launching the lead-free register. Shoots that sign up will be agreeing to a new Standard within our assurance scheme, committing to writing and following their own protocol to prevent the use of lead ammunition on their shoot. We can then let game dealers, processors and stockists know where they can source game produced on shoots that are both lead-free and assured. And that is most definitely the future.
We are also very excited that this new Standard, alongside our whole Assurance Scheme, will be audited by SAI Global. While new to the BGA, SAI Global are an established name in the rural community, delivering certification for Red Tractor and LEAF Marque among many others. We are confident that SAI Global will help us drive the credibility of the BGA Assurance Scheme, for the protection and enhancement of game shooting and the better promotion of our wonderful British game meat.
British Game Alliance