Dear [Decision Maker],
I urge you to oppose the misguided, anti-wildlife Sportsmen's Heritage Act of 2012 (House Bill 4089). This bill, promoted by gun groups, ignores sound science and would perpetuate the lead poisoning of wildlife such as bald eagles, condors, loons and swans. The bill would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing federal regulations intended to protect wildlife and people from preventable lead poisoning.
Although lead poisoning has been reduced by removing lead from paint and gasoline, each year tens of thousands of tons of lead are shot into the environment and a half-million lead fishing sinkers are lost or abandoned in U.S. waters. When this lead enters the food chain it takes a deadly toll on wildlife. Bald eagles, peregrine falcons, loons, condors, herons and doves die incredibly painful lead-poisoning deaths, and wolves, bears and panthers are also poisoned.
There's simply no reason to continue to use toxic lead materials for hunting or fishing. Effective, nontoxic bullets, shot and fishing weights are widely available and in many cases comparable in price to lead.
The bill intends to strip the EPA's authority to regulate toxic lead in ammunition and fishing gear under the Toxic Substances Control Act. This legislation shows callous disregard for the health of low-income venison donation, 10 million hunters and their families who remain at risk of lead poisoning. It also ignores the mountain of scientific evidence that lead ammunition and fishing tackle are the major sources of lead poisoning in more than 130 animal species.
Please oppose this bill and allow the EPA to keep the regulatory tools it needs to prevent the annual deaths of millions of wild animals and to protect public health.