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Fish and Wildlife Service Moves to Ban Lead Ammo and Lures from Most Federal Lands


Contact: Jared Saylor, Defenders of Wildlife, jsaylor@defenders.org; (202) 772-3255

Fish and Wildlife Service Moves to Ban Lead Ammo and Lures from Most Federal Lands

FWS must work closely with state wildlife agencies to ensure wildlife and public lands are protected

WASHINGTON (January 23, 2017) – The following statement is from Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife regarding a decision last week from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to expand use of nontoxic ammunition and fishing tackle on national wildlife refuges and in certain other types of hunting and fishing regulated by the FWS:

“The use of lead ammunition is unacceptable in this day and age, when there are readily available alternatives on the market and we know the incredible harm that lead poses to people and to wildlife. Lead ammunition and fishing lures poison and kill many millions of birds and other animals each year, and risk contamination of our waterways and drinking water. The Service’s decision to phase out over time the use of lead shot and tackle demonstrates a commitment to preserve and protect species within the national wildlife refuge system. FWS banned the use of lead shot for hunting waterfowl nationwide in 1991, recognizing the impact lead poisoning was having on wildlife and the environment. Last week’s decision was long overdue.

“The Service must now work closely with state and tribal wildlife management agencies as it phases in and implements this ban. Close coordination between state, tribal and federal agencies is critical to ensure that wildlife and public lands are protected.”


Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.