Ten to 20 million animals die from lead poisoning each year in the United States. Dying from lead poisoning can be a long, painful death. The animals suffer neurological issues and muscle weakness before eventual death. Hunting with lead puts humans who eat the meat of animals with lead in them at risk. Yet, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke revoked a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service order to phase out the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on national wildlife refuges.
There is plenty of evidence that lead harms wildlife. A study published in the Journal of Wildlife Management shows that banning lead for waterfowl hunting has saved millions of waterfowl from being poisoned ["Ingestion of Lead and Nontoxic Shotgun Pellets by Ducks in Mississippi Flyway," 2000].
Lead has been removed from paint, gasoline, and water pipes. Why don't we have a total ban of lead shot for hunting? After all, non-toxic ammunition is cost competitive and widely used. The reason is because of lobbying from extremist groups such as the NRA. We need to stand up and tell the Secretary of the Interior and our members of Congress that lead hunting and angling supplies have no place on national wildlife refuges. The Secretary's e-mail is email@example.com.