France puts back date of lead shot ban
Hunters' use of lead shot in wetlands, a practice responsible for poisoning aquatic birds, is to be banned in France from 1 July 2005. Prohibition under a newly issued government order was due to be introduced from 1 July 2004, but the deadline was postponed after consultation with the hunters' association, the environment ministry said. France signed up to, but has yet to ratify, a 1995 international agreement on migratory birds banning the use of lead shot from 2000. Similar bans are in force in several EU countries. See press release.