Should Ammo Be Lead Free?
Everywhere you turn there are warnings about lead - from having to sign disclosures when buying a house in a certain time period, to keeping an eye out for toys being recalled for high levels of lead. One item that is still full of lead and available is ammunition. Different states have worked on making it illegal, so is it time for a nationwide ban? Is it anti hunter or is it pro environment? Do they have to be exclusive?
35 states got together to create a petition for the EPA to regulate the lead in hunting ammunition. Lead fragments can be left in gut piles, where condors, and other carcass eating animals will ingest it, and become poisoned from the lead. The EPA was given a similar petition in 2010 that they rejected saying they did not have power over the ammunition market.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service has banned lead shot for waterfowl hunting, as it could end up at the bottom of streams and lakes poisoning animals there. California has banned it in big game hunting and coyote hunting in their state. One of the animals that they are concerned with is the California condors.
In Arizona, a state with California condors, had educated hunters on the lead issue. Also the state gave out coupons for free no-lead ammunition, to hunters that were hunting in areas with condors. Some hunters have started using non lead ammunition, and others have said they have removed the gut-piles from the wild to remove the lead from possible animal ingestion. "Hunters and sportsmen would be more engaged if it weren't so politicized," Kathy Sullivan, condor program coordinator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department said. "We should cooperate rather than force people into actions they don't support." From KTAR.com.