Millions of birds and other animals die from lead hunting ammunition each year — not from being shot but from eating fragments of ammunition left behind by hunters. It’s a wildlife epidemic that’s entirely preventable. That’s why on Monday, the Center for Biological Diversity pulled together more than 140 other groups to petition the Environmental Protection Agency to finally get the lead out of hunting ammunition in favor of readily available, nontoxic alternatives.
“The unnecessary poisoning of eagles, condors and other wildlife is a national tragedy that the EPA can easily put an end to,” said Jeff Miller with the Center for Biological Diversity. “There are safe, available alternatives to lead ammo for all hunting and shooting sports, so there’s no reason for this poisoning to go on. Getting the lead out for wildlife is in line with traditional American conservation, hunting and fishing values.”
Each year, 3,000 tons of lead are shot into the environment by hunters because the EPA has refused to regulate toxic lead hunting ammunition. That lead poisons bald eagles, severely endangered condors and majestic trumpeter swans, which die painful deaths. Hunting with lead ammo also risks the health of humans (especially children) when they ingest tiny lead fragments in shot game.
It doesn’t have to be this way. There are many commercially available alternatives to lead rifle bullets and shotgun pellets. More than a dozen manufacturers market hundreds of varieties and calibers of nonlead bullets and shot made of steel, copper and alloys of other metals, with satisfactory to superior ballistics. Nonlead bullets are readily available in all 50 states. Hunters in states and areas that already have lead restrictions or have banned lead have made successful transitions to hunting with nontoxic bullets.
“We wisely removed lead from gasoline and paint because of the dangers of lead poisoning, and now it’s time to do the same for hunting ammunition. Future generations will thank us,” Miller said.
There is simply no excuse to use toxic lead for hunting. Please sign the group’s petition today, and share it with your network on Twitter and Facebook.
Find out more about the dangers of lead >>
Read more: animal welfare, animals, birds, bullets, civil rights, clean water, endangered species, environment & wildlife, environmental protection agency, guns, health, health policy, hunting, lead, lead poisoning, politics, water, wildlife
Trumpeter Swan photo courtesy Flickr Creative Commons/Paruula
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