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Are Bird Preservationists Misleading the Public to Ban Lead?

One of the biggest arguments for banning lead fishing tackle and traditional ammunition is that the lead kills birds, but how serious of a problem is it really?

After the Department of the Interior rejected a petition from the American Bird Conservancy to make a mandatory permitting system for wind farms last week, the National Shooting Sports Foundation re-stressed their report about the actual causes of bird mortality, and lead plays a very small role. Lead ingestion was only responsible for .7 percent of bird deaths, while loss or destruction of habitat is responsible for 33.3 percent.

According to the the NSSF blog post, “if hunters’ use of traditional ammunition was adversely impacting bird populations, raptor and bald eagle numbers wouldn’t be soaring, as they have been.

We wonder if ABC overstated its case here on wind turbines just as it did when it joined with the Center for Biological Diversity in petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency to ban traditional ammunition and lead fishing tackle. That petition was rejected, too. A ban on traditional ammunition is unwarranted for several reasons: use of traditional ammunition does not cause a human health risk nor negatively impacts bird populations; at the same time, a ban would result in increased ammunition costs, reducing hunter numbers and also funding for conservation.”

If these organizations really want to reduce bird mortality, maybe they should focus their energy on the bigger problem, and help us hunters and anglers in conserving habitat.

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