HomeUSAAnimal welfare advocates call on poachers to stop using lead ammunition that...

Animal welfare advocates call on poachers to stop using lead ammunition that poisons wildlifeOUS News

Wildlife advocates are urging hunters to reconsider some of their hunting practices—specifically, those that are harming eagles and other wild animals long after poachers leave the area.

Leela Riddle, a volunteer at the Haida Gwaii Animal Helpline, says there has been an increase in the number of eagles becoming ill after ingesting lead.

When an eagle swallows lead, it cannot function properly, and in some cases, it cannot fly.

“They are unable to hunt, and it is usually when we come across them that they are weak, and they cannot fly,” she said. “They’re usually very vulnerable at that point.”

Riddle said hunters are discarding carcasses of deer that have been contaminated with lead ammunition. When eagles eat the carcass, they swallow the lead.

According to the George Mix Sutton Avian Research Center in Oklahoma, consuming only a small amount of lead from lead shot or lead core bullets, which make up most conventional ammunition, is enough to kill an adult bald eagle.

Rob Hope, general manager of the Orphan Wildlife Rehabilitation Society in Delta, B.C., said it’s an issue throughout the province—not just on Haida Gwaii.

“This is an issue that can be resolved fairly easily by simply switching ammunition, not only for the safety and health of animals, but also for human health,” he told CBC. morning answer,

He said that eagles suffering from lead poisoning often die. If they are rushed into treatment early, they are treated, hydrated, given time to rest and they can recover.

“Unfortunately, more often than not, they do not heal, and they perish.”

A bald eagle looks at the camera.  There are marks on its beak.
Animal welfare advocates and volunteers are warning poachers about the consequences of using lead ammunition and leaving carcasses for scavengers to eat. (Submitted by Orphan Wildlife Rehabilitation Society)

His organization has begun collecting data on the number of eagles his facility receives that have consumed lead. They take blood samples from each eagle that appears to be suffering from symptoms of lead poisoning, to understand how much they have eaten and note the time of year when the animal was brought into their care.

“Typically, we really start to see it picking up around February in November,” he said – during or shortly after the hunting season in BC for many species,

The goal is to be able to show hunters that their dominant ammunition is having an adverse effect on wildlife, Hope said, and would ideally encourage them to consider using other types of ammo.

“for all [hunter] That turns out, it’s one less that we have to worry about getting lead in the environment,” he said.

Riddle said that in his neck of the woods, lead ammunition options aren’t always readily available, making it difficult for hunters to make changes.

Hope acknowledged that lead ammunition costs less, and some hunters are concerned about how their firearms will be affected by non-lead bullets.

If non-lead ammunition isn’t an option, he suggests hunters dispose of the carcasses before burning or burying an area.

“Any of those methods will reduce and prevent animals from cleaning up what they see.”

The Ultimate Managed Hosting Platform