Our old friends at the Humane Society of the United States are at it again.
This time the anti-hunting organization is looking to effectively shut down hunting on public land by eliminating the use of lead-based ammunition.
This is a tactic that has been tried before and beaten back. The Center For Biological Diversity, another anti-hunting group, had its petition to the Environmental Protection Agency requesting a ban on lead-based ammunition twice rejected.
Some states have also dealt with – and rejected – the notion of banning lead ammo. But one state has adopted a ban: California.
But HSUS being HSUS, they figured they might as well give it another whack and have even developed a plan of attack for getting it done (See the HSUS Lead Free Campaign).
You will see on Page 3 of the document, a heading entitled: The HSUS Approach.
Point 1 of that approach: “We will be filing a petition to ban the use of lead ammunition for hunting purposes on federal lands owned by the Department of Interior (DOI)—which comprises about one-fifth of the total land area of the United States.”
Read that statement again. One-fifth of the total land area of the United States. . .
Step 1 has been completed.
On June 10, HSUS posted a release on its website stating that “Wildlife Groups and Sportsmen Petition Feds To End Lead Ammunition on Public Lands.”
Interestingly, the only “hunter” listed in the release as being supportive of the measure is former California Fish and Game commissioner Judd Hanna. Yes, the same guy who helped usher in California’s lead ammo ban.
The release does, however, state that “five individual sportsmen” signed onto the petition. And what of the “Wildlife Groups” that were in support? Well here’s a partial list. You be the judge of whether these are “wildlife groups” or anti-hunting groups: The Fund For Animals, Defenders of Wildlife, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Wildlife Conservation Society, Northwood Alliance and the National Wolfwatcher Coalition.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation has been beating the drum loudly in an effort to rally sportsmen and women against this petition.
In the 50-page petition, HSUS asserts that the use of lead ammo is causing widespread declines in wildlife populations, that humans are at risk of lead poisoning when consuming game shot with lead bullets and that “Lead-free alternatives are available, affordable and sensible.”
That statement was made by HSUS President Wayne Pacelle. You know, the guy who also said: “”We are going to use the ballot box and the democratic process to stop all hunting in the United States. We will take it species by species until all hunting is stopped in California. Then we will take it state by state.”
Is there enough valid, science-based evidence to support claims that lead-based ammunition is causing enough environmental impact that it should be banned from use on 1/5 of the acreage in the United States? Is there enough valid, science-based evidence to show that consuming wild game shot with lead bullets is a health hazard?
Well, consider this. We’ve been killing critters with lead bullets for hundreds of years. Doctors are required, by law, to report any cases of lead poisoning to the Center for Disease Control, according to the NSSF.
And yet, despite generations of hunters killing game with lead bullets and using the bounty to feed their families, not a single case of lead poisoning has ever been linked by the CDC to the consumption of wild game killed with lead bullets.
So what’s this about? Simple. HSUS believes that a ban on lead-based ammunition will keep more hunters on the sidelines and out of “their” public lands.
This isn’t about public health safety. There simply is no evidence to support that such a health risk even exists -– certainly not enough to allow the government to place such a sweeping restriction on the freedoms of American citizens.
This isn’t about environmental health either because, while there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that lead poisoning does cause measurable levels of mortality in some wildlife species, there is no clear connection that the source of that lead can be attributed to law-abiding hunters.
This is about HSUS’ desire to make it as difficult as possible for Americans to hunt. Want to stop them? Speak up.
Contact Interior Secretary Sally Jewell at 202-208-3181. Tell her what you think of this issue.
And, tell her the real reasons behind HSUS’ antics.