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Lead bullets: Time for nationwide ban on use of lead for ALL hunting & fishing?

I received this letter from Eric Mills, coordinator for ACTION FOR ANIMALS in Oakland, California, while I was on vacation last week :

In response to the California Fish & Game Commission’s 12/7/07 commendable action on the lead ammunition issue (banning use of lead ammo in the endangered California Condor refuge), I sent out the following:

“Note that .22-caliber lead ammo is banned, a nice surprise not included in Assemblyman Pedro Nava’s AB 821. The vote was 3:1. High time we got a fifth commissioner, before we end up with any tie votes on other issues. What we REALLY need, of course, is a nationwide ban on the use of lead for ALL hunting and fishing.”


“I agree.”(Huey Johnson, Director, RESOURCE RENEWAL INSTITUTE, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco)

(Mr. Johnson gave me his permission to circulate his reply.)

Might now be the time to attempt state legislation for such a ban? And if not for both hunting and fishing, then perhaps just for upland gamebird hunting? I would like to hear your thoughts on this, pro and con.

The toxic properties of lead have been well documented for decades, even hundreds of years. With good reason we’ve banned its use in gasoline, in paint, in ceramic dishes, etc. And for the hunting of waterfowl some 20 years ago, and the duck hunting community didn’t collapse, as some irrationally feared.

And now we’ve banned lead in condor country, surely a step in the right direction. Nor is it only the condors which are impacted. Scavengers such as eagles, vultures, coyotes, ravens, magpies, badgers, dogs, etc., also suffer and die from ingesting spent lead shot. Recent studies in Missouri have shown that quail, doves and other upland gamebirds also fall victim. And probably a few humans.

It’s time to go the next step, for the sake of the environment and our beleaguered wildlife. Surely this is a matter of common sense, environmental protection, and hunter/fisher ethics.

I would appreciate any comments … regards, and Season’s Greetings,
Eric Mills, coordinator, ACTION FOR ANIMALS

Dear Blog readers:
I’m curious to hear what everyone thinks about Eric’s suggestion, as he says, pro or con. Just click on “leave a comment” below and fire away (no lead, please). /Gary

Posted on Monday, December 17th, 2007
Under: Hunting & Fishing, Lead bullets | No Comments »