Primary Evidence and Risk Assessment Subgroup (2010-2014)


Prof Len Levy OBE, BSc, MSc, PhD, FFOM, FBTS (Chair)

Len Levy is currently Emeritus Professor of Environmental Health 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 and has 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 Working Group on the Assessment of Toxic Chemicals (WATCH) and the Advisory Committee on Toxic Substances (ACTS), and the UK nominee and vice-chair on the EU Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL), DG EMP, and was, until last year, a member of the Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) specialising in toxicology and risk assessment and Chaired of two of its sub-committees (Medical and Scientific Panel and the Hormones Subgroup). He has been an invited Working Group member to some 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 in recent times. He has conducted occupational and environmental risk assessments on many different types of substances, ranging from pesticides to metals and solvents, including recently focussing on the susceptibility of young children to lead, and 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 250 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 current activities, chairs the Executive Committee of the influential UK Interdepartmental Group on Health Risks from Chemicals (IGHRC) on behalf of the UK Government.

Dr Peter Green BVSc Cert EO MRCVS

Peter Green has been in veterinary practice for over thirty years. For much of his professional life he has concentrated upon horses, with a lifelong interest in deer as both a hobby and a small part of his professional work. Since 2003 he has reduced the equine work and increased the time given to deer work, so that the majority of his professional time is now devoted to the biology, diseases and management of deer.

He provides veterinary and consultancy services to deer parks and landowners across England and Wales, as well as offering second opinion services to other veterinary practices and colleagues. He is the veterinary surgeon to the Royal Deer Parks, the deer parks of the National Trust and many other heritage parks.

Peter is honorary veterinary adviser to the British Deer Society and regularly works for the Deer Initiative. After thirty years practising in Cambridgeshire, his veterinary consultancy is now based in North Devon.

Academic qualifications:

1977 Batchelor of Veterinary Science with Honours, University of Liverpool
1977 Admission to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
1992 Post graduate RCVS Certificate in Equine Orthopaedics.

Past academic appointments:

External lecturer at Cambridge University Veterinary School.
External Lecturer at The Royal Veterinary College London
Examiner for the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Post graduate Certificates in Equine Surgery.

Past and present professional appointments;

Veterinary Consultant to the Royal Deer Parks of London.
Veterinary Consultant to the deer parks of The National Trust
Veterinary Advisor to the British Deer Society
Veterinary Advisor to the Deer Initiative of England and Wales.
Jockey Club Veterinary Committee
Council of The British Equine Veterinary Association
Senior Veterinary Surgeon at Doncaster Racecourse
Senior Veterinary Surgeon at Huntingdon Racecourse
Official Measurer and Re-measurer for the British Veterinary Association – Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Joint Measurement Board
Veterinary Correspondent to Your Horse Magazine, Horse and Pony Magazine and Horse and Hound.

Publications, presentations and papers:

Numerous scientific papers in peer reviewed scientific literature, several veterinary text book chapters and numerous presentations and lectures at national and international veterinary congresses. All in respect of the veterinary science of deer and horses.

Professional memberships:

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, British Veterinary Association, Veterinary Deer Society, British Equine Veterinary Association Association of Racecourse Veterinary Surgeons.

Legal experience

More than ten years experience as either a Material Witness and Expert Witness in numerous legal cases, both civil and criminal, all in respect of equine and deer health, welfare, disease, treatment and value.

Prof Rhys Green BA, PhD

Rhys Green has a BA in Zoology and a PhD in Applied Biology from the University of Cambridge where he has been Professor of Conservation Science in the Zoology Department since 2006. After completing his PhD he worked for the Game Conservancy for 4 years on the ecology of grey and red-legged partridges, subsequently joining the RSPB as a research biologist in 1982. He became RSPB’s Principal Research Biologist in 1993, a role that he retains to date. Rhys has worked on a wide variety of research topics, from the effects of climate change on geographical range and population processes, to the development of techniques for practical habitat management and the manipulation of demographic rates of threatened birds. More recently his research has included the effects of veterinary pharmaceuticals on population processes in birds and the effects of contamination from spent lead ammunition on wildlife and human health. Rhys sits on the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) Scientific Advisory Group. 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 5 peer-reviewed journals and has more than 200 scientific publications, of which 18 recent peer-reviewed publications cover environmental contaminants, including lead.

Dr John Harradine BSc, PhD

John Harradine has a degree (first class) in wildlife and fisheries management, and PhD, from Edinburgh University. After Edinburgh he worked as an ornithologist for the Falkland Islands Government, 1974– 976, investigating competitive relationships between the islands’ sheep and the resident Chloephaga goose populations.

In 1978 he joined BASC (then WAGBI) as conservation planning officer with some research into technical issues involving shooting. In 1981 he became Research Officer and then developed the research of the Association, becoming Director of Research in 1999.

Science-based research is undertaken into all aspects of sporting shooting to support the Association’s representation of sporting shooting from local to international level. It includes monitoring the well-being of quarry populations and the level of shooting to ensure that shooting is sustainable; working to ensure shooting is conducted wisely and contributes actively to the conservation of quarry and non-quarry species and their habitats; and, through shooting and ballistics research, seeking to improve understanding and practice whereby quarry birds and animals are afforded due respect in terms of their welfare and any wastage of shot game is minimised.

He continues to be involved in many governmental and non-governmental, national and international committees and working groups; an attendee of conferences and seminars; and author of reports, proceedings, articles, and papers addressing technical issues relating to shooting and conservation.

For 30 years he has been closely involved in the issues over lead shot and other ammunition in the UK and internationally.

Dr Alastair Leake BSc, PhD

Alastair Leake has a BSc in Horticultural Science from the University of Reading and a PhD in Agricultural Systems from the University of Leicester. Alastair worked for the Co-operative Farms Group for 20 years, ultimately as Head of Research, moving to manage the Game Conservancy Trust’s research and demonstration farm in Leicestershire in 2001.

Alastair has published numerous papers through his career as well speaking and chairing sessions at international conventions. He has given evidence in person to both House of Commons and House of Lords Select Committee Enquiries and is a former member of the BBC’s Rural Affairs Advisory Committee. Alastair is the current Vice Chairman of the Government’s Independent Scientific Advisory Committee for Pesticides (ACP) and has recently been appointed as a Fellow of The Royal Agricultural Society of England.

Dr Debbie Pain BSc, PhD

Debbie Pain has a first class degree in Environmental Chemistry from London University and a D. Phil from Oxford University. She has worked on lead poisoning for 27 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, 26 of these on lead. For the last three years she has been Director of Conservation at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT).


(a) To gather and list sources of evidence for assessing the risks of lead in ammunition under the categories outlined below

(b) To advise on the quality, applicability and therefore inclusion of such evidence for risk assessment

(c) To propose a risk assessment method

(d) To use the proposed evidence sources to prepare an initial risk assessment under the categories outlined below

(1) Risks to wildlife from ingested lead from ammunition. This will include welfare considerations, individual and population level risks.

(2) Risks to human health from the ingestion of lead from ammunition. This will include both risks associated with the ingestion of lead gunshot/bullets or fragments thereof in game animals, and the ingestion of animals that have themselves ingested and assimilated lead from ammunition. (It may also include any other perceived risks arising from lead ammunition).

(3) Risks to human health through livestock feeding in areas of lead shot deposition. This will include risks from lead deposited through inland shooting, including clay-pigeon and other target shooting.


From the many papers on lead risks and impacts, we will aim to list those that provide comprehensive coverage of the key issues and the most current, relevant, science-based information and reviews available. Where authoritative reviews are used we will provide an opinion on the soundness of the authors’ interpretations. Additional references may be added if deemed appropriate at any time.

The primary evidence gathered will cover the risks from lead in ammunition and not comparative risks of other materials used for non-lead ammunition types.

We will cover the following types of information:

1. Published in independently peer-reviewed[1] established journals

2. Published in independently peer-reviewed other literature (e.g. proceedings of conferences) or published reports written by ‘accredited’ expert specialist groups (which may have an ISBN number or be freely available online)

3.Other reports, e.g. commissioned by government, academic institutions and NGOs – not published, or published but not peer-reviewed

4.Other literature considered to be of sufficiently high quality in total or with some information useful to the Sub-Group

We may consider it necessary to send literature for independent or further independent peer-review.

References will also be tagged as having the following applicability: UK, EU (Europe), INT (International). This is to assist judgment about their relevance to the UK and reflects the fact that, while not necessarily carried out in the UK, they may contain information of relevance to the LAG’s purposes.

View the list of publications and reports considered as primary evidence

[1] Peer review is a process used for checking that research methodology and conclusions are sound, before being published, typically undertaken by other specialists in the field of study.