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The use of lead shot has adverse environmental impacts on birds, particularly on wetland bird species. Birds such as gamebirds and wildfowl ingest spent lead gunshot mistakenly for food or the grit that helps them to grind up food in their muscular gizzards. Ingestion of lead gunshot by waterfowl is associated with increased death rates. As a signatory to the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) the UK agreed to phase out the use of lead shot in wetlands.

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