Myths and Facts About the Petition to Ban Lead in Hunting Ammunition

 

 

Here are a few myths that we’ve heard regarding our lead petition, with responses that should help clear up any confusion:

 

Myth #1: ABC wants to end hunting

Response: ABC is not anti-hunting. Several ABC staff and board members hunt, shoot, and fish. They do not want to see their sport stopped; safe, non-toxic alternatives are readily available. Other countries have banned lead for hunting (Denmark and Sweden) and fishing (UK).

 

Myth #2: Lead-free bullets are expensive and will cause people to stop hunting. Wildlife revenues will plummet as a result.

Response: Non-toxic bullets cost more (10-20%) for most guns, but that increase represents only a small fraction of the total cost of hunting. Waterfowl hunting did not decline as a result of the law banning lead shot in 1991. In fact, Duck Stamp purchases have increased 30% between1991 and 2009, despite a 20% increase in the cost of a stamp. As production of lead-free ammunition ramps up following a total lead ban, the price will drop significantly.

 

Myth #3: Lead ammunition is not a problem for wildlife populations. Lead batteries are the culprit. Towers and cats kill more birds.

Response: It is very difficult to tease apart the multiple causes of bird declines. Lead poisoning is one of many threats. We have an obligation to address all threats to birds, particularly where simple solutions exist. We do not ignore one threat to people over another; we find solutions to all threats. It is our obligation to do the same for wildlife. We can identify lead shot pellets as the cause of poisonings from x-rays of sick and dead birds.

 

Myth #4: Bald Eagle populations are increasing, so there’s no problem if any are poisoned.

Response: The Bald Eagle is a conservation success story, part of which was the banning of known toxins (pesticides) killing eagles both directly and indirectly. The species has now recovered to the point where it is no longer regarded as threatened with extinction, but does this mean that it’s OK to poison them? We should not, and need not accept the poisoning of Bald Eagles as collateral damage from our sporting enjoyment.

 

Myth #5: This will impact my target shooting, hamper military readiness, and negatively affect law enforcement and home protection.

Response: This is a petition to reduce toxins in the environment. Shooting ranges are not a threat to birds; neither are handguns. We support an exemption to both those uses and for the military. The military has already led the way in the development and use of “green” bullets and is using them in training and in combat.