California lawmakers are considering a bill (AB 711) that will finally ban lead in hunting ammunition. If it goes through, it will provide important protections for wildlife and people.
We need you to speak out in favor of the bill.
Just over five years ago California revised hunting regulations to require nonlead ammunition for all hunting done in central and Southern California. The regulations have helped revive condor populations -- but success is limited. American bald eagles and other wildlife continue to be afflicted by lead poisoning throughout much of the state, and lead ammunition is still a threat to humans who eat wild game.
Regulations have shown that hunters can easily transition to nontoxic bullets. Over the past five years, there has been no decrease in game tags or hunting since the nonlead ammunition requirements went into effect.
Please urge your legislators to support a statewide ban on lead ammunition and a move to nontoxic ammunition for all hunting in California.
I am writing to urge you to support Assembly Bill 711 introduced by Assembly member Anthony Rendon. This bill would protect California's wildlife from unnecessary lead poisoning and safeguard human health by requiring the use of nonlead ammunition for hunting across California.
The facts are undeniable: Toxic lead from hunting ammunition in the form of bullet fragments and spent lead shot enters the food chain and exacts a deadly toll on wildlife. Lead ammunition poisons and kills bald eagles, endangered California condors, swans, loons and millions of other birds each year. It also causes significant health risks to people eating wild game. Lead is a potent neurotoxin -- it's not safe for humans at any level of exposure.
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The time to act on this issue is now. We've removed lead from our homes, our gas tanks and our children's toys -- but not from ammunition, a persistent source of toxic lead in the environment.
Nontoxic alternatives to lead ammunition are now affordable, widely available and already in use by many hunters. A recent study deflates the argument that price and availability of nonlead ammunition preclude switching to nontoxic rounds for hunting; researchers found no major difference in the retail price of equivalent lead-free and lead-core ammunition for most popular calibers.
This bill has the support of numerous of hunters as well as conservation, animal protection and public health organizations. More than 250 organizations in 40 states support nationwide regulations ending the use of toxic lead hunting ammunition. California can take the lead in protecting wildlife and people from lead poisoning by passing this state legislation. Please support AB 711 and end the use of toxic lead.
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