Friday 19 September 2008

Non-lead rifle bullets

Earlier this year, Arnold Schwarzenegger (of all people) banned the use of lead rifle bullets in California, to protect condors and other scavengers.

I've been following how the ban has been working out for hunters there, because mark my words this one will reach Britain sooner or later.

It seems they've adopted all-copper bullets, which give "a very high-quality, humane kill". And life - and hunting - goes on.

I found this comment by California hunter Anthony Prieto interesting. It reveals a very grown-up attitude to the whole issue - in stark contrast to some of the mouth-frothing rants we've seen in the UK from those who think all talk of non-lead shot is the work of subversives and antis.

Shooters can take the moral high ground in any debate on conservation. We do more for the environment than just about any other group. But we shoot ourselves in both feet if we stubbornly refuse even to consider that lead might be a problem. American hunters have taken this on board. Sooner or later, we will have to.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lead is certainly a problem. I do quite a bit of panning for gold in many of the streams the White Mountains of NH USA. Lead being very dense it accumulates in gold pans and sluice boxes - often in astonishing quantities.

Over time the surface of the lead tends to turn white and dissolve into the water.

All this lead laying about is having an effect on water quality and the health of wildlife and people. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out we would do well to eliminate lead sinkers and bullets in favor of less toxic substances.