Toxic lead has been taken out of paint and gasoline. But tons of lead are shot or left in the wild every year from fishing and hunting, endangering wildlife. Golden eagles, peregrine falcons, loons and other birds die incredibly painful unnecessary deaths from lead poisoning. Lead also threatens top predators such as wolves, bears and panthers.
Birders, hunters, scientists, American Indians, public employees and environmentalists all agree: We need to ban lead in ammunition and fishing tackle. These groups are suing the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure it prevents further lead poisonings under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
But the National Rifle Association has pushed its buddies in Congress to introduce a bill that would eviscerate the law, thus preventing the EPA from regulating toxic lead exposure to wildlife on the grounds that protecting wildlife from poison is "extreme." This bill can't become law.
Help stop the NRA's toxic legislation: Tell your senators today to oppose this harmful bill.
I urge you to oppose the misguided "Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Sports Protection Act of 2011." This bill promoted by extremist gun groups would ensure the continued 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.
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Although environmental 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 aquatic environments. When this lead enters the food chain the effect on wildlife is staggering. Bald eagles, golden eagles, peregrine falcons, loons, cranes, condors, herons and doves die incredibly painful lead-poisoning deaths. Wolves, bears and panthers are also poisoned.
There is simply no reason to continue to use toxic lead materials for hunting or fishing anymore. Effective, nontoxic bullets, shot and fishing weights are widely available and in many cases, comparable in price to lead.
The bill intends to strip 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 10 million hunters, their families and low-income beneficiaries of venison donations who are at continued 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 exposure for more than 75 wildlife species.
Please oppose this bill and allow the EPA to keep the regulatory tools to prevent the annual deaths of millions of wild birds and wildlife. Thank you.