Target: California Governor, Jerry Brown
Goal: Protect animals from poisoning by banning the use of lead ammunition throughout the entire state of California
A recent bill seeks to prohibit California hunters from using lead ammunition throughout the entire state. Years of scientific research and collected data have proven that the infiltration of lead into a given ecosystem is deadly to many species and the habitats in which they thrive. Lead typically enters an ecosystem when wounded animals that are shot with lead bullets are left uncollected by hunters, and are subsequently consumed by scavengers. The new bill, officially known as AB 711, would require hunters to only use non-lead ammunition in order to help curb this problem. Furthermore, it will ensure that the California Fish and Game Commission instates and enforces these non-lead regulations by the summer of 2015.
Since 1991, hunters of California’s waterfowl species have been required to use only non-lead ammunition in order to help decrease the amount of lead entering water ecosystems. More recently, the use of lead ammunition has been banned in the California condor range since 2008. Despite these precautions, however, annual tests show that about half of California condors maintain dangerously high levels of lead, and these large birds are not the only species subject to this problem. According to a report by the National Park Service, as many as 134 species of wildlife are “negatively affected by lead ammunition,” including golden eagles, bald eagles, hawks, ravens and turkey vultures. In addition, studies have increasingly shown that humans who consume the meat of animals killed with lead bullets are at risk for lead poisoning as well. Because lead bullets typically fragment to a greater extreme than non-lead ammunition upon entering the flesh of an animal, the risk for lead contamination is disproportionately high. Some research suggests that even processed, packaged meat such as venison can contain traces of lead.
Despite the obvious harm that lead ammunition does to the environment and to humans who can be unknowingly exposed to it, there are some that oppose the ban on lead ammunition. An article by Ed Zieralski at UT San Diego calls the bill “anti-hunting” and “unscientific,” despite studies that prove otherwise. In fact, Bill AB 711 does not aim to end hunting in California, but rather to promote more environmentally responsible methods of hunting.
Show your support for this important, non-lead ammunition bill, and therefore help to preserve countless species and California ecosystems.
Dear Governor Jerry Brown,
Recently, a bill known as AB 711 passed the California Assembly and must only clear the state Senate and be signed in order to become law. This bill, which calls for a ban on the use of lead ammunition throughout the entire state, is absolutely vital in protecting California’s unique species and habitats. Decades of research have shown that the use of lead ammunition leads to lead contamination in various ecosystems. This adversely affects the many species that depend upon these ecosystems for survival. One such example is the California condor, a species that’s main threat to survival is lead poisoning. Currently, about half of California’s condors exhibit dangerously high levels of lead toxicity.
Furthermore, the use of lead ammunition can be harmful to humans as well. Recent studies prove that when humans eat the meat of animals killed with lead ammunition, they are at risk for consuming certain amounts of lead that can be very detrimental to human health.
I strongly urge you to support Bill AB 711 and stand behind the ban on lead ammunition throughout the state of California.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Brian Sims via Wikimedia Commons