Report on the technical discussion “Methods of detection of bullet fragments and measurement methods for the description of a reliable killing effect in simulants”
In the context of the discussion on an amendment of the Federal Hunting Act, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in Germany has dealt with scientific principles that enable an assessment of the introduction of bullet fragments into game meat. Until now, neither standardized terms nor definitions nor standardized procedures for quantifying the effects of the introduction of corpuscular bullet fragments were available for a health assessment. With the participation of international experts, a concept was developed that could be used to test hunting rifle bullets regarding their effectiveness potential [The term effectiveness potential (in German: Wirkpotenzial) describes more than the term “effectiveness” (in German: Wirksamkeit)] and entry of bullet fragments into game or game meat. The term “killing effect” newly introduced into the discussion in the context of the efforts to amend the Federal Hunting Act was not supported by the experts, since “killing“ cannot be simulated and standardized. Other basic terms and definitions were formulated and/or interpreted. A distinction must be made between the effect of a bullet on biological tissue, the (optimal) effect of the bullet when shot in a manner appropriate for hunting, the impact on the hunted game when hit in a suitable location and the effect of the bullet, described as physical effectiveness potential. In principle, the following applies: The effectiveness potential of a bullet can be simulated and thus evaluated in test simulants/test media. Therefore, it is possible to describe hunting rifle bullets based on qualitative and quantitative parameters as well as concerning their physicochemical properties. Their effectiveness potential in game meat can thus be adequately assessed, both by the hunter and with a view to the scientific issues related to consumer health protection strategies for minimizing bullet fragments in game meat. Essential parameters required for a test procedure have been compiled in a product profile for hunting rifle bullets used to kill food-producing game species.