Gov. Brown (D-CA) signed historic legislation Friday that will protect the state’s condors, eagles and other wildlife from lead poisoning by requiring the use of non-lead ammunition for all hunting by 2019. By signing Assembly Bill 711 California becomes the first state in the country to require the use of nontoxic bullets and shot for all hunting.
“California has taken a historic step to protect its wildlife from lead poisoning,” said Jeff Miller with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Switching to nontoxic lead ammunition will save the lives of eagles, condors and thousands of other birds every year—and, importantly, will keep hunters and their families from being exposed to toxic lead. It’s great to see California lead the nation in getting lead out of the wild.”
The bill requires the state Fish and Game Commission to issue regulations by July 1, 2015, that phase in use of non-lead ammunition for hunting of all kinds, including game mammals, game birds, non-game birds and non-game mammals. These requirements must be fully implemented statewide no later than July 1, 2019.
Nationwide, millions of non-target birds and other wildlife are poisoned each year from scavenging carcasses containing lead-bullet fragments, eating lead-poisoned prey, or ingesting spent lead-shot pellets, mistaking them for food or grit. Spent lead ammunition causes lead poisoning in 130 species of birds and animals. Nearly 500 scientific papers document the dangers to wildlife from this lead exposure.
Scientists, doctors and public-health experts from top universities around the country recently called for a phaseout of lead hunting ammunition, citing overwhelming scientific evidence of toxic dangers posed to people and wildlife. More....