Hunters seek to exempt lead ammunition & tackle from environmental safety regulation
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2011:
WASHINGTON D.C.–Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus co-chairs
Senators Jon Tester and John Thune and Representatives Jeff Miller
and Mike Ross, along with 40 co-sponsors, in mid-April 2011
introduced legislation to exempt lead-based ammunition and fishing
tackle from regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The bills were presented only days after two new studies by
researchers at the University of California in Davis confirmed the
detrimental effects of ingested lead shot on wildlife. Associate
professor of veterinary medicine Christine Johnson and epidemiology
doctoral student Terra Kelly, DVM, found that lead levels increase
in the blood of scavenging turkey vultures during deer hunts and in
areas where wild pigs are hunted. Johnson and Kelly also found that
a 2008 ban on lead ammunition ban within the range of endangered
California condors reduced blood lead levels in golden eagles and
turkey vultures within just one year.
The U.S. Fish & Wildife Service on February 8, 2011 ordered
that lead ammunition may no longer be used to hunt crows, grackles,
blackbirds and other so-called nuisance species under USFWS-issued
The USFWS order came six days after the Northwest Raptor &
Wildlife Center, at Sequim, Washington, disclosed that it had
encountered “at least six cases of fatal lead poisoning in Olympic
Peninsula trumpeter swans just this winter,” said center
spokesperson Matthew Randazzo.
In November 2010, just after the end of “National Lead
Poisoning Prevention Week,” the EPA denied a petition to ban toxic
lead shot and fishing sinkers, filed in August 2010 by the Center for
Biological Diversity, the American Bird Conserv-ancy, and a
coalition of other organizations.
“The petition referenced nearly 500 peer-reviewed scientific
papers illustrating the widespread dangers of lead poisoning from
these sources,” said an American Bird Conservancy press release.
Absorption of lead from ambient sources such as air, water,
and even casual contact with surfaces painted with lead-based paints
has been known to harm brain development in human children for more
than 30 years.