18 October 2020
By Bryan Smyth
Fianna Fáil MEP to take crucial role in lead gun shot over wetlands objection
The Cork North Central based Fianna Fáil MEP, Billy Kelleher has been given a crucial role, as one of the ‘Shadow’ Rapporteurs, on the lead gunshot over wetlands objection that will be debated in the weeks and months ahead.
Kelleher, a member of the centrist Renew Europe group, was appointed as the shadow following his lodging of a formal objection to the European Commission proposals that would effectively write off the use of lead gunshot in Ireland.
“I’m delighted with this appointment as it will give me a direct role in developing the resolution that will be put before all members of the European Parliament.
“It’s important to say that I am not against the phased elimination of lead gunshot but under the current Commission proposals it would be a disaster for farmers and gun sports enthusiasts in Ireland.
“The current proposals I believe are disproportionate and unenforceable. Worse still, it contains a clause that would criminalise a farmer for just carrying lead gunshot near water.
“The Commission didn’t look at the practicalities of countries such as Ireland. How they can develop a proposal that categorises a puddle forming in a field as a wetland, then introduce a 100m buffer zone around it, and still think it makes sense is beyond me. Common sense sadly is not that common in the European Commission.
“Many of my colleagues in the Renew Europe group, and indeed across the parliament, are strongly opposed to this regulation as currently written. The Commission needs to go back to the drawing board and start again.
“I hope other Irish colleagues will do the right thing and join me in voting in favour of the objection when it is debated in the ENVI Committee and finally in a full Plenary vote later this year,”