- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Environmentalists in California are pushing for a new state law that prohibits lead ammunition because scavengers — like buzzards — that eat the carcasses that hunters leave behind are being poisoned.

And, they want the law to go nationwide.

Democratic Assembly Member Anthonly Rendon introduced the legislation on Monday, which was sponsored by Defenders of Wildlife, Audubon California and the Humane Society of the United States, The Associated Press reports.

“There really is no question that lead ammo is a threat,” said Kim Delfino, with Defenders of Wildlife, in the AP report. “To pass a bill in California would set the stage for this happening throughout the country, the way low-emissions vehicle standards changed the market nationwide.”

Lead is toxic to the state’s condors, and is also a major threat to bald eagles, golden eagles and turkey vultures, environmental groups say.

But opponents of the ban argue that no evidence exists showing that animals die from lead poisoning from ammunition — and that the eight counties that already ban lead bullets do not show any drop in cases of lead-based bird deaths, AP reports.

On top of that, non-lead based ammunition is often more expensive than lead bullets, AP reports.

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