Membership of the Lead Ammunution Group

Members (2016-Present)

Chair – Mr John Swift, BASC Chief Executive prior to retirement

Mr John Swift has an MA (Oxford) in zoology and subsequent MPhil in ecology, and was BASC Director of Conservation Research (1978 to 1984), BASC Executive Director (1985 to 1988) and BASC Chief Executive (1988 to 2013). He chaired meetings of the shooting industry’s ad hoc Lead Shot Technical Working Group from the late 1970s until 2010 and has chaired the European Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation (FACE) Lead Ammunition Working Group as well as national and international meetings and workshops on lead.

Prof Rhys Green, Former RSPB Principal Research Biologist prior to retirement, Honorary Professor of Conservation Science at the University of Cambridge

Prof Rhys Green gained a BA in Zoology and a PhD in Applied Biology from the University of Cambridge. After postdoctoral research on gamebirds at the Game Conservancy, he joined the RSPB’s research department in 1982 and became their Principal Research Biologist in 1993, until his retirement in 2017. Rhys has worked on a wide variety of research topics, including the effects of climate change on bird geographical range and population processes, the development of techniques for practical habitat management, effects of global agricultural development on wildlife, the manipulation of demographic rates of threatened birds and the effects of pollutants on birds, such as toxic veterinary drugs affecting vultures in India and lead ammunition poisoning California condors in Arizona and Utah. From 1999, RSPB seconded Rhys to work in the Zoology Department, University of Cambridge, where he helped to found their Conservation Science Group, the Cambridge Conservation Initiative and the Student Conference on Conservation Science. Rhys has been an Honorary Professor of Conservation Science since 2006. He sits on the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s (GWCT) Scientific Advisory Committee. He has been awarded the Marsh Award for Conservation Biology (1997), the Tucker Medal by the British Trust for Ornithology for outstanding services to its scientific work (2000) and the Godman-Salvin Medal by the British Ornithologists Union as a signal honour for distinguished ornithological work (2009). He is currently on the editorial boards of five peer-reviewed journals and has more than 270 scientific publications, of which ~20 recent peer-reviewed publications cover the effects of environmental contaminants on wildlife and human health.

Dr Robert Hubrecht OBE, FRSB, Chief Executive of the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW)

Dr Robert Hubrecht is an ethologist with a specialisation in animal welfare. His research has included studies of the behaviour, physiology, and welfare of farm animals, New World primates (both in captivity and in the wild), and kennelled dogs. He has served on committees providing advice on animal welfare, particularly for animals used in research, including: the UK Animal Procedures Committee; Cabinet Office/BERR Steering group on better regulation; chaired the MOD Animal Welfare Advisory Committee; and was a member of the US National Research Council Distress Committee. He has also served on expert groups for the development of UK and European legislation. He is Editor in Chief of the journal Animal Welfare.

Mr Jeff Knott, RSPB Head of Nature Policy

Jeff Knott has worked in conservation policy and advocacy for the last 10 years, after studying Ecology at the University of East Anglia and MacQuarie University, Sydney. A common thread through roles at RSPB and WWT has been working on lead poisoning from ammunition, including overseeing RSPB’s removal of lead ammunition use from its own reserves.

Prof Len Levy OBE, BSc, MSc, PhD, FFOM, FBTS, Emeritus Professor of Environmental Health within the former Institute of Environment and Health at the University of Cranfield

Prof Len Levy is an Emeritus Professor of Environmental Health and was a Professor within the Institute of Environment and Health at the University of Cranfield, UK. Previously (up till October 2005) he was Head of Toxicology and Risk Assessment at the UK Medical Research Council’s Institute for Environment and Health based at the University of Leicester. Len is an internationally well-known occupational and environmental toxicologist and risk assessor, and holds a doctorate in experimental pathology from the Institute of Cancer Research, London. He has also held academic positions at the University of Aston, where he developed courses in occupational toxicology and established an Industrial Toxicology Unit to research mechanisms and causes of occupational cancer and give advice to industry, trade unions and Government departments, and the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Occupational Health where he was a Reader in Occupational Health where he continued his research into causes and mechanisms of occupational cancer and also developed a Masters course in Occupational Health. He is currently an independent member on the UK’s Health and Safety Commission’s Workplace Health Expert Committee (WHEC) and the HSE Science, Engineering Evidence Assurance Committee (SEEAC). He is a member and Chair of the EU Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL), DG EMP. He was, a past member  of the Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) specialising in toxicology and risk assessment, and chaired two of its sub-committees (Medical and Scientific Panel and the Hormones Subgroup). He has been an invited Working Group member to twelve International Agency on Cancer Research (IARC) Monograph meetings (WHO, Lyon) on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans and has chaired two of these meetings He has conducted occupational and environmental risk assessments on many different types of substances, ranging from pesticides to metals and solvents, including  focussing on the susceptibility of young children to lead. He has led teams producing a large number of Criteria Documents used for the setting of Occupational Exposure Limits, both in the UK and the EU. Len has published more than 300 papers on occupational carcinogenesis, occupational and environmental toxicology, risk assessment and risk management, and the regulatory aspects of both environmental and occupational air and water standards. In 2000, he was awarded an OBE for Services to Occupational Health and Safety. Amongst his current activities, he chairs the Executive Committee of the influential UK Interdepartmental Group on Health Risks from Chemicals (IGHRC) on behalf of the UK Government.

Prof Ian Newton OBE, FRS, FRSE

Prof Ian Newton OBE, FRS, FRSE is an ornithologist with a particular interest in the things that limit bird numbers, with research at different times on seed-eating birds, waterfowl and birds-of-prey. Throughout his working life, he was employed by the Natural Environment Research Council, and for many years he was head of a unit at Monks Wood Research Station which studied the effects of pesticides and pollutants on birds. He has authored eight books on different aspects of avian biology, and published more than 300 papers in the scientific literature. He has also served as President of the British Ecological Society and the British Ornithologists’ Union, and as Chairman of the Royal Society for Protection of Birds and the British Trust for Ornithology.

Dr Debbie Pain, WWT Director of Conservation prior to retirement

Dr Debbie Pain has a first class degree in Environmental Chemistry from University of London and a D. Phil from Oxford University. She has worked on lead poisoning for over 30 years. She started working on the biochemistry of lead poisoning in birds in 1983, carrying out her D.Phil research both the UK and with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in the USA. She subsequently worked for four years as a research scientist at an independent Biological Research Station in the Camargue, France. During this period she led the IWRB (International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau) task force on Poisoning of Waterfowl by Toxic Lead Shot for the Hunting Impact Research Group, organised the scientific programme for an IWRB lead poisoning workshop (Brussels, 1991), and edited the workshop proceedings (IWRB Spec. Pub. 16). She subsequently spent 16 years at RSPB where she ran the International Research Unit. During her career she has worked on a wide range of topics in the UK and overseas including the impacts of a range of environmental contaminants, farming systems and birds, identifying causes of poor conservation status in threatened birds, and developing practical conservation solutions. She has more than 100 scientific publications and has co-written/edited three books. Thirty six of her peer-reviewed publications are on contaminants, ~30 of these on lead. Debbie was Director of Conservation at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) for 10 years prior to her retirement in 2018.

Mr Simon Roch DSAS(Orth), BVM&S, MRCVS, Veterinary Surgeon and deer stalker

Mr Simon Roch is the principle Orthopaedic Surgeon at Kentdale Veterinary Orthopaedics who has been exclusively seeing referred orthopaedic cases since 2005. He graduated from Edinburgh University in 1997 and worked in an orthopaedic referral practice in Warwickshire and a mixed practice in north Lancashire prior to undertaking a three year residency in Small Animal Orthopaedics and Spinal Surgery at the renowned Willows Referral Service near Solihull. Simon gained his RCVS Certificate in Small Animal Surgery in 2006, the Diploma in Small Animal Surgery (Orthopaedics) in 2010, and was awarded RCVS Recognised Specialist status in 2013. Simon has written many articles on veterinary orthopaedics for publication in internationally recognised, peer-reviewed scientific journals, and has travelled across the world to further his knowledge in the expanding field of orthopaedics and minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery. His particular interests include the correction of limb deformities, the management of cruciate ligament rupture, elbow dysplasia, and the optimal treatment of fractures. As a deer stalker and user of non-toxic bullets, Simon represents a veterinary professional with much practical experience from the field.

Dr Ruth Cromie, WWT Head of Ecosystem Health (and LAG Secretariat)

Dr Ruth Cromie, a wildlife health specialist, gained a PhD for vaccine development in wildfowl from University College, London, in 1991. Since then she has worked on various aspects of wildlife health, from diagnostic technologies to environmental management in both wild and captive animals in the UK and overseas, including the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, Smithsonian Institution, and Hong Kong University. As WWT’s Head of Ecosystem Health, Ruth is responsible for organisational health and welfare standards, plus WWT’s Ecosystem Health programme which includes surveillance, research, advocacy, contingency planning, capacity building, and policy work. Ruth regularly teaches and examines wildlife health and conservation biology on a number of biology and veterinary post-graduate programmes. She is an active member of the UN-Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)/Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Co-convened Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds, the CMS Preventing Poisoning Working Group, and its Lead Task Group. Ruth has worked on resolutions for both the CMS and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (as a member of Ramsar’s Scientific and Technical Review Panel) promoting integrated practical approaches to dealing with health, in particular of domestic and wild animals e.g. via the Ramsar Wetland Disease Manual. Ruth is also currently the Vice Chair of the African Eurasian Waterbird Agreement Technical Committee.

Members (2010-2015)

Chair Mr John Swift (BASC, then retired).

Universities Federation for Animal WelfareDr James Kirkwood served until the 20th meeting (November 2016).

RSPB Dr Mark Avery served until the 4th meeting (September 2010), replaced by Jeff Knott who served from the 5th meeting (November 2010), succeeded by Prof Rhys Green from the 12th meeting (June 2014).

Institute of Environment and HealthProf Len Levy.

Wildfowl & Wetlands TrustDr Deborah Pain.

The Gun Trade Association Ltd Mr John Batley (resigned June 2015).

Game and Wildlife Conservation TrustDr Stephen Tapper (retired at the end of 2010), replaced by Ian Coghill who attended from the 6th meeting (April 2012) and resigned in December 2014.

National Game Dealers Association – Mr Stephen Crouch (resigned May 2015).

Country Land and Business AssociationMr Adrian Gane served until the 5th meeting (November 2010), replaced by Mr Martin Jamieson until April 2012, then replaced by Mr Mark Tufnell from the 7th meeting (February 2013) and resigned in May 2015.

Countryside AllianceRobert Gray served until the 5th meeting (November 2010), replaced by Lord Mancroft and in turn by General Sir Barney White-Spunner who served from the 7th meeting (February 2013) and resigned in May 2015.

Observers (2010-2015)

Food Standards AgencyDr Kevin D Hargin, replaced by Gavin Shears and Sarah Hardy in 2014.

Defra Mrs Elaine Kendall, replaced by John Kilner in 2014, Miss Kate Fouracre, Mr Ashley Smith.


Ms Lucy Munro (Defra) initially provided the main committee’s secretariat support until the 5th meeting (November 2010). Dr Matt Ellis (BASC) succeeded her from the 6th meeting (April 2012). Dr Ruth Cromie (WWT) succeeded him from the 13th Meeting (May 2015).