Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lead Shot Still Approved for Bird Hunting

Iowa Legislature has decided that a 100 year ban on hunting Doves is long enough. Beginning Sept 1 of this year hunters will be given the legal right to kill these song birds once again.

I’m not a fan of killing animals for sport. The old argument hunters use to justify it being “it helps nature keep the population down so they don’t starve to death from over-growing their food source” just sounds so self-serving. Nature has been able to keep this ‘balance’ for millennia before man ever came onto the scene and took almost all of that food source away.

Anyway the purpose of this post lies in the shot used to hunt these animals. Apparently, lead is still being used in shotgun shells. If you have ever dissected a shotgun shell you will notice it is filled with pellets of varying sizes. About the same size and shape as bird feed and scratch that birds eat. Once the lead gets into their tiny bodies and they get eaten by birds of prey, etc and so on, you know the chain. Lead has been taken out of paint and gasoline due to its well known toxicity. Why not bird shot?

It took me by surprise to learn that lead is being scattered throughout the country side where it can be eaten by wild animals, or leeched into the waterways affecting aquatic life. To be fair to hunters, there are quite a few who are concerned enough for the environment that they will pay the extra 4 cents per shell to avoid lead. But there are many more who just don’t care. Given the fact that they eat the few forkfuls of meat a song bird provides and the lead gets into their own bodies as well as the bodies of the family, one would think this would be enough to wake them up to the fact they are poisoning themselves. Spend the extra 4 cents.

The Iowa legislature had the opportunity to ban shells of lead shot but turned it down. Why? Only they know, but lead is still being scattered about without regard to how it affects our food chain.

Just thought you would want to know.

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