For Immediate Use
July 1, 2019
Jason Howe, (415) 595-9245; firstname.lastname@example.org
Ban on Toxic Lead Hunting Ammunition Takes Effect in California
Audubon-sponsored Assembly Bill 711 prohibits major source of lead poisoning in humans and wildlife
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A law protecting people and wildlife from the effects of toxic lead hunting ammunition takes effect July 1. Assembly Bill (AB) 711, approved by the California Legislature in 2013, requires hunters to use non-lead ammunition when they take any wildlife using a firearm. The law was authored by California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) and Assemblymember Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), and sponsored by the California office of the National Audubon Society, Defenders of Wildlife and the Humane Society of the United States. California is the first state to ban lead ammunition in all types of hunting.
"Lead shot kills birds long after being fired from a gun,” said Andrea Jones, Audubon California's director of conservation. “Banning toxic ammunition and fishing tackle in all wildlife habitats is necessary not just for the long term survival of condors and other iconic California birds but for our own health, as well.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1991 began to require the use of non-lead shot like steel and copper for hunting ducks and geese across the United States, and the National Park Service in 2009 announced the goal of eliminating the use of lead ammunition on National Parks lands. However, those bans failed to address the lead poisoning of upland game in other areas, including mourning doves, as well as of raptors such as condors, eagles, hawks, and owls. While game birds tend to eat shot and other fragments off the ground, raptors consume lead ammunition left behind in carcasses by hunters. Poisoning from lead ammunition is a major obstacle in the recovery of the California condor, and a common source of mortality for other raptors.
Safer, affordable alternatives to lead ammunition are already widely available, and thousands of hunters in California already use non-lead shot for hunting big game in condor country and waterfowl hunting statewide.
In addition AB 711, Audubon California led passage of AB 821 in 2007, eliminating the use of lead ammunition in the range of the California condor. The AB 711 coalition included more than 80 animal protection, public health and environmental organizations, local governments, more than 100 California veterinarians, and dozens of leading scientists. Newspaper editorial boards across the state also voiced support for the legislation.
About Audubon California
Audubon California is building a better future for California by bringing people together to appreciate, enjoy and protect our spectacular outdoor treasures. With more than 350,000 members and supporters in California and an affiliated 48 local Audubon chapters, Audubon California is a field program of the National Audubon Society. More information is available at ca.audubon.org.
Media Relations Manager, Pacific and Central Flyways
National Audubon Society