The Humane Society wants to ban lead-based ammo from all public hunting land in the U.S.
On June 10, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) filed a petition with the Department of the Interior demanding legislation against hunting with lead-based ammo on public land – which accounts for one fifth of the hunting ground in the U.S.
The anti-hunting organization has been seeking a ban on lead-based ammo for years, claiming that it’s a threat to wildlife and humans. Their petition also calls for legislation to restrict hunters to alternative ammunition made from steel, copper, bismuth and other forms of metal.
“The toxicity of lead to both human and environmental health is well-documented,” reads the HSUS announcement of the petition. “More than 500 scientific papers have cited the many dangers to wildlife caused by lead exposure.”
Many in the hunting industry argue that these claims are sketchy at best. The most vocal group is the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade organization for the firearms, hunting and shooting sports industries.
“The 50 page-petition is littered with junk science and fails to make the case that the use of traditional ammunition is a threat to wildlife populations or to humans that would warrant such a drastic action,” the NSSF said in response to the petition.
The NSSF, and others in the outdoors community, believe the HSUS petition to ban traditional ammo on public lands is part of the anti-hunting organization’s broader attempt to shut down hunting in the entirety of the U.S.
If that sounds far-fetched, consider these statements the current HSUS President Wayne Pacelle made several years ago:
“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.” (Full Cry Magazine, Oct. 1, 1990)
And this one he made a year later:
“If we could shut down all sport hunting in a moment, we would.” (The Kingman Daily Miner, Dec. 30 1991).
The HSUS isn’t the only wildlife group to recently speak out against lead ammunition. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently released a report that claims lead-based ammo is contributing to the mortality rates in bald eagles in the upper Midwest. The NSSF had a similar reaction to that study.
What do you think about the HSUS petition to ban lead ammo on public hunting lands? Do you think it’s part of a broader agenda? Do you think lead-based ammo has a negative impact on wildlife? We want to hear your thoughts on these issues.