Government urged to ban all lead shot
The Department of Conservation was turned into a gravesite today, when SAFE held a funeral for a duck. The colourful protest was aimed at calling for a ban on lead shot.
The hunting season begins this weekend, and SAFE are concerned about the toxic nature of lead shot. Lead shot is of particular concern as it results in lead pellets being scattered throughout waterways, and waterfowl, including native birds may mistake it for grit and eat it. This can lead to fatal lead poisoning with many birds dying long after the hunters have left.
“Lead poisoning is a terrible death,” says SAFE campaigns officer Shanti Ahluwalia. “Not only do hunters target and kill our native wildlife, like pukekos and paradise shell ducks, they’re not adverse to poisoning them too, as long as they get the enjoyment of the hunt they seek every year.”
This year shooters in the Bay of Plenty have been told to shoot fewer Mallards and more pukekos due to declining mallard numbers, which is contradictory to hunters claims that they are trying to eradicate some species.
Controversy over lead shot dates back over a decade. The government attempted to phase out lead shot entirely, but due to lobbying by Fish and Game only a restricted ban was introduced. Loopholes remain in place, and hunters are still allowed to use lead shot with some types of gun and on land.
SAFE are renewing their call for a ban on the use of all toxic lead shot, directing their aim at the Minister for Conservation, Maggie Barry.
Alfred the duck will be laid to rest at an animal sanctuary.
1 May 2015