Non-Toxic Shot

Lead is a toxic substance that can harm humans, wildlife and the environment. The most common lead poisoning in birds is considered to be the result of ingestion of spent lead shot used for waterfowl hunting. Therefore, the use of lead shot for duck hunting is prohibited throughout Victoria. This includes duck hunting on all wetlands, waterways and dry lands on public and private land.

The non-toxic shot types permitted for use in Victoria includes:

  • iron (steel)
  • bismuth-tin
  • iron-tungsten
  • iron-tungsten-nickel
  • tungsten-bronze
  • tungsten-iron-copper-nickel
  • tungsten-matrix
  • tungsten-polymer
  • tungsten-tin-iron
  • tungsten-tin-bismuth
  • tungsten-tin-iron-nickel
  • tungsten-iron-polymer

The approved non-toxic shot list has been updated to reflect advances in technology. These shot types have been extensively tested and found to be non-toxic to waterfowl and other wildlife. Allowing these additional shot types opens the market and provides greater choice to duck hunters given the types of hunting they do and their shooting skills.

No other shot types (eg. zinc) can be used to hunt duck in Victoria. Hunters should check with their ammunition supplier to see which alternatives best suit their needs. Hunters should also check with their firearm's manufacturer or gunsmith to ensure that it is safe to use certain shot alternatives in their firearm.

Duck hunters may have toxic shot (eg. lead shot) on a State Game Reserve or any other area where they intend to hunt duck, provided it is secured in a vehicle. Hunters should also note that lead shot may be used for quail hunting on the 16 State Game Reserves where quail hunting is permitted.

For more information about non-toxic shot, please select from the topic links below.