” …More than a dozen countries in Europe have banned lead ammunition for hunting waterfowl, while Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden are among a handful of countries that have totally banned lead bullets. Germany, Japan and Belgium have passed limited restrictions on their use… ” The reason lead shot is banned so widely is that high concentrations of lead in the environment are a danger to health. The results of studies in California are absolutely clear, the information has been widely available for years: lead shot is killing one of North America’s rarest birds. So just why do some hunters in the US persist in using lead shot? Surely the only conclusions are that either a) they don’t care, or b) that’s specifically why they keep using it. Another bullet in the head of the ‘hunting=conservation’ argument…
Center for Biological Diversity (USA): www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2012/lead-06-26-2012.html
Lead Ammunition Is Causing Condor Poisoning Epidemic
New Study Confirms Need to Protect Wildlife From Lead Poisoning
SANTA CRUZ, Calif.— In a study released Monday, researchers said that lead ammunition is creating an “epidemic” of lead poisoning in California condors. The team of environmental toxicologists conducting the study found that lead poisoning from spent ammunition is preventing
the recovery of the condor, an endangered bird that remains at risk of extinction.
“The United States has removed toxic lead from paint, gasoline and most other products to protect human health and the environment,” said Jonathan Evans, Toxics and Endangered Species Campaign director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s high time we get the lead out of spent ammunition to protect America’s wildlife.”
The study looked at more than 1,154 blood samples taken from wild California condors, finding that 48 percent of the birds had lead levels so high they could have died without treatment.
The comprehensive study, led by Dr. Myra Finkelstein, was published in the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences. The study affirms the need to regulate wildlife lead poisoning from toxic ammunition on the national level because it poses the primary threat to condor recovery, despite California’s regulation of lead ammunition in condor habitat. The Center, along with a coalition of six other conservation groups, filed suit earlier this month to force the Environmental Protection Agency to take steps to control toxic lead contamination from ammunition throughout the country. Last month the Center and allies notified the U.S. Forest Service of ongoing legal violations on Arizona’s Kaibab National Forest because of failures to
control toxic lead ammunition, which is also the leading cause of death for Arizona’s California condors.
“Needlessly poisoning our wildlife is a national tragedy,” said Evans. “There are safe and affordable alternatives to toxic lead ammunition for all hunting and shooting sports — that safer ammo is just sitting at the store waiting to be bought.”