Study on Lead and Cadmium Contamination in Big Game Meat (EVINBO)

Project Details


In the context of a potential health risk due to the presence of Pb in big game meat shot with Pb containing ammunition, the aim of this project is to collect representative data on the presence of Pb in edible meat of big game (roe deer, wild boar and red deer) shot in Belgium. The samples will be collected in collaboration with game processing centers spread throughout the country, and the data will be analysed in relation to the geographical area where the animals were shot (in order the estimate the influence of environmental exposure), their age, the location of the wound channel and potential bone hit. Attention will also be paid to data on Pb and Cd concentrations in kidney of roe deer of an existing database (owned by INBO and CODA-CERVA) which will be delivered to project, and which will be processed in relation to geographical origin and animal age. In a separate investigation the effect of the distance to the wound channel on meat Pb concentrations will be investigated more in detail, because this information may be helpful when defining measures that can help to reduce Pb exposure due to game meat consumption. Based on a game meat consumption survey (option 1), or based on various consumption scenarios (option 2), the exposure to Pb via the consumption of game meat will be assessed for high-level consumers of big game meat, i.e. hunters and their relatives, and a risk evaluation will be performed. To complement the Belgian data, a detailed overview of international studies related to the use and risks of Pb containing bullets will be provided. Also policy recommendations will be formulated concerning the consumption of big game meat and the option of using non-lead ammunition (option 2). A conclusion section will summarise all relevant results obtained, with reference to the international context.
The funding body will be offered the choice to select either option 1 or option 2. The successful accomplishment of option 1 depends, however, on the cooperation of the Flanders’ and Walloon Hunting Associations, for which we have no guarantee yet at this stage. Without the cooperation of the hunting associations, only option 2 remains possible.
Effective start/end date1/06/18 → 30/04/20

Thematic List 2020

  • Wildlife management