Bring Back the Ban on Lead-Based Ammo

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Sponsor: The Rainforest Site

End the unnecessary lead poisoning of 20 million animals! Reinstate the ban on lead-based ammunition and fishing tackle!


Lead has proven to be a toxic threat not only to humans [1], but to animals as well.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, as many as 20 million birds and animals die every year from lead poisoning as a result of nearly 100,000 tons of lead that hunters, fishers, and other sportsmen use [2].

The conservationist group The Peregrine Fund contends that lead poisoning is a contributing factor to California condors being on the endangered species list [3]. Bald eagles and other birds of prey are being horrifically paralyzed and poisoned after scavenging the carcasses of other animals killed with lead-based ammunition [4]. Ducks, swans, geese and other waterfowl are ingesting lead fishing sinkers lost in lakes and rivers every year, which can prove fatal [5].

And the birds are not alone: a 2009 study from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine showed that people who consume animals killed by lead bullets are also at risk of lead poisoning [6].

Time and time again, scientific evidence shows there is no place for the use of lead-based ammunition due to the health and safety risks it poses. Yet in March, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke repealed a ban on the use of lead-based ammunition in national parks and wildlife refuges [7].

It's time to demand that Interior Secretary Zinke pays attention to the surmounting evidence against the use of lead-based ammunition. A 2013 statement from 30 scientists, doctors, and public-health experts from Harvard, Cornell, Rutgers, and other universities supported eliminating its use [8]. Join them and call upon Interior Secretary Zinke to immediately reinstate the ban on lead-based ammunition and fishing tackle.

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (April 19, 2017). "Health Problems Caused by Lead." Retrieved May 9, 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/lead/health.html

[2] Center for Biological Diversity (n.d.). "Get the Lead Out" campaign. Retrieved May 9, 2017. http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/get_the_lead_out/

[3] The Peregrine Fund (May 23, 2013). "Winter results for Arizona-Utah condor program: preventable deaths remain focus of recovery effort." Retrieved May 9, 2017. http://www.peregrinefund.org/news-release/263

[4] Schweig, S. V. (2017, March 08). "Bald Eagles Keep Dying And No One's Talking About It." Retrieved May 9, 2017. https://www.thedodo.com/bald-eagle-ammunition-refuges-2306402071.html

[5] Center for Biological Diversity (n.d.). "Get the Lead Out" campaign. Retrieved May 9, 2017. http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/get_the_lead_out/

[6] Cornatzer, W. E., Forgarty, E. F., & Cornatzer, E. W. (2009). "Qualitative and quantitative detection of lead bullet fragments in random venison packages donated to the community action food centers of North Dakota, 2007." Retrieved May 9, 2017. http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/get_the_lead_out/pdfs/Cornatzer_et_al_2009.pdf

[7] Secretarial Order No. 3346 (2017). https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/order_no._3346.pdf

[8] Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Santa Cruz (2013). "Health Risks from Lead-Based Ammunition in the Environment - A Consensus Statement of Scientists." Retrieved May 9, 2017. http://escholarship.org/uc/item/6dq3h64x

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The Petition:

Dear U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke,

There is mounting scientific evidence that millions of animals are being poisoned from lead-based ammunition. Up to 20 million birds and animals die from lead poisoning every year as a result of nearly 100,000 tons of lead that hunters, fishers, and other sportsmen use, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.

Despite this evidence, you've recently overturned a federal ban on hunting with lead-based ammunition in national parks and wildlife refuges. I am writing to demand that, for the health and safety of millions of wildlife, as well as other humans, the ban on lead-based ammunition be reinstated immediately.

Lead poisoning is a contributing factor to California condors being on the endangered species list. Bald eagles and other birds of prey are also frequent victims of lead poisoning from lead-based ammunition, as they ingest bullet fragments from the carcasses of other animals they consume. A 2009 study from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine showed that people who consume animals killed by lead bullets are also at risk of lead poisoning.

If people are going to hunt, they should do so responsibly, and without ammunition that can inadvertently poison and kill other wildlife. Despite hunting enthusiasts claiming that lead-free ammunition is too expensive to afford, a recent study showed prices for such ammunition is comparable to its toxic equivalent.

With a range of substitutes on the market today, there is no good reason for the use of lead-based ammunition that can poison and kill so many animals and humans. Please reinstate the ban on lead-based ammunition as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

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