There’s nothing sporting about poisoning bald eagles. Yet legislation the Senate will vote on this month, the so-called “Sportsmen’s Act,” would actually prevent the Environmental Protection Agency — the same agency that got lead out of paint and gasoline — from protecting wildlife, as well as families that eat game shot with lead ammunition, from lead poisoning.
Toxic lead continues to enter the food chain through bullet fragments in game shot by hunters who opted for less expensive lead shot pellets. In addition to bald eagles and endangered condors, more than 75 species of birds and other wildlife are needlessly poisoned or killed by lead left in the wild. The EPA can, and should, address these preventable deaths by applying the Toxic Substances Control Act, a well-established and time-tested federal law aimed at limiting our exposure to dangerous substances like lead.
Now that numerous effective, nontoxic bullets and shot are widely available and in many cases comparable in price to lead, there’s simply no reason to continue to use toxic materials for hunting.
The tired argument presented by the National Rifle Association and its well-heeled gun lobby claims that removing toxic materials from the sporting marketplace is somehow anti-hunting — but this has been proven wrong through the example of California’s nontoxic hunting laws.
Regulations that went into effect in 2008 to reduce lead poisonings of condors require nonlead ammunition for all hunting in most of Southern and central California. Hunters in these areas continue to hunt traditional game using nontoxic copper rounds, and there has been no decrease in game tags or hunter-generated revenues.
More than 150 organizations in 38 states are calling for regulation of lead ammunition. But the NRA’s radical legislation would gut the Toxic Substances Control Act and prevent the EPA from doing its job.
Sign this letter asking your senators to say no to this bill(and share the letter with everyone you know), plus learn more about the Center’s campaign to get the lead out. Also, check out this interesting New York Times op-ed, which clearly shows that the NRA does not represent all hunters.
Human Health Risks of Lead Ammunition:
Lead ammunition also poses unnecessary health risks to people. Lead bullets fragment extensively and spread minute particles of toxic lead throughout shot game. Hunters then feed this toxic harvest to their families. Radiographs show that imperceptible, dust-sized particles of lead can infect meat up to a foot and a half away from the bullet wound, causing a grave health risk to humans eating lead-shot game. Read more about our Get the Lead Out campaign at www.GetTheLeadOut.org.
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