After twice petitioning the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban lead in traditional hunting ammunition—and after being twice previously denied—the extremist Center for Biological Diversity group (CBD) is back at it.
In early June the CBD was joined by six environmental groups in suing the EPA for refusing to ban lead in traditional ammunition. Two months earlier the EPA denied CBD’s second petition requesting regulations banning traditional ammunition.
CBD claims that spent shot and bullet fragments from traditional ammunition harms wildlife populations, mainly bird species, and is a danger to humans. These claims are not supported by sound science. Use of traditional ammunition has not been shown to harm humans who consume game or wildlife populations.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation reports:
“With very limited exceptions, such as waterfowl and possibly the California condor — where the evidence of a causal connection to spent ammunition fragments is far from conclusive, there is simply no sound scientific evidence that the use by hunters of traditional ammunition is causing harm to wildlife populations,” responds the NSSF. “In the case of raptors, there is a total lack of any scientific evidence of a population impact. In fact, just the opposite is true. Hunters have long used traditional ammunition, yet raptor populations have significantly increased all across North America — a trend that shows no sign of letting up. If the use of traditional ammunition was the threat to raptor populations some make it out to be, these populations would not be soaring as they are.”
While the CBD says the lawsuit is not an attempt to stop hunting, the clues say otherwise. CBD has been at the forefront of many anti-hunting initiatives and has even threatened to sue to force the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to force wolf reintroductions across the lower 48 states.
This latest lawsuit highlights the importance of language in the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012. Passed by the U.S. House as H.R. 4089, the Act clarifies that the EPA does not have authority to ban traditional ammunition, something that the EPA has already told CBD – twice. Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and John Thune (R-SD) have included this language in as part of the Senate version of the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act which will be offered as an amendment to the Farm Bill.
Joining the CBD in the suit are: the Cascades Raptor Center of Oregon, the Loon Lake Loon Association of Washington, Preserve Our Wildlife of Florida, the Tennessee Ornithological Society, the Trumpeter Swan Society, and the Western Nebraska Resources Council.