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Humane Society calls for ban on lead ammo after condor crisis

June 5, 2008 |  4:19 pm


The Humane Society of the United States today urged a nationwide ban on lead-shot ammunition after the lead poisoning of critically endangered California condors. One of the birds has died, "evidence that this ammo keeps on killing long after it leaves the gun barrel," the society said.

"Like asbestos, lead shot is a lethal and cruel pollutant that has no place in our modern society,” Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the society, said in a statement released today.

“Discharging countless tons of lead-shot ammunition and dispersing it in open space areas throughout the nation is a prescription for slow agonizing deaths for wildlife, particularly for scavengers such as condors who feed on animals killed by lead shot and are then poisoned themselves," he said. "It's time for policymakers to stand up to the extremist voices within the hunting lobby and demand that hunters use nontoxic shot.”

The poisoned condors account for one-fifth of the entire Southern California population of the creatures.

California enacted a law forbidding the use of lead shot, and lead bullets, in condor territory beginning July 1.

-- Francisco Vara-Orta

Photo: Scott Frier / Associated Press

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