Legally Brief: Leading Away from LeadPosted by Stephen Wells, ALDF's Executive Director on October 11, 2013
Thank you! The Animal Legal Defense Fund is thrilled to announce that California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law today that makes California the first state in the nation to ban the use of lead bullets in hunting. Thanks to ALDF member support, especially those of you who lent your voice to this important cause, Gov. Brown signed AB 711 into law. The bill mandates that bullets will now be made from copper, steel, and other far less toxic materials, and passed despite significant opposition from the National Rifle Association.
Lead-based bullets, even when not targeted toward animals, poison wildlife, including endangered species like California condors. As we know by now, lead-poisoning is a significant problem, which is why we’ve worked so hard to remove it from paint and gasoline. Millions of birds, from doves to condors to owls, eagles, and hawks have died from lead poisoning each year, as well as coyotes and more than one hundred other species of wild animals. Shotgun pellets are particularly pervasive as each round can contain dozens of tiny lead pellets that can be mistaken for food by birds and small animals.
This law is one more way California serves as a model for the nation in humane laws. In fact, Gov. Brown also signed a law today (AB 1213) to ban the trapping of bobcats in Joshua Tree National park and other national wildlife refuges. And just last year, Gov. Brown outlawed the use of hounds in hunting bears and bobcats.
It’s a great day to celebrate on behalf of wildlife and the animal advocates and conservationists that work so hard to protect our wild animals and wild places! Thanks go to Governor Brown, Assemblymembers Anthony Rendon and Richard Bloom, and Dr. Richard Pan, and to you, our members!