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Lead ban proponents have clearly introduced AB 711 to avoid the scientific debate on lead ammunition. They are aware that the facts and the science are not going to support an expansion of the current lead ammunition ban under the heightened scrutiny from the Department and the Commission, where “the science has got to make sense or else you’re not going to sell the rest of us [on a lead ammunition ban], that’s for darn sure.” (Commissioner Rogers at the August 8, 2012 meeting) Accordingly, the extremist environmental groups are instead using petitions and polls to proffer support in the legislature to implement a statewide lead ammunition ban. Petitions and polls are exactly how these groups were able to obtain the initial lead ammunition ban (AB 821), which has scientifically been proven to be an absolute failure.

Cancer researcher Dr. Don Saba made a presentation to the Commission on behalf of the NRA and CRPA Foundation, comparing pre-AB 821 lead ban and post-AB 821 lead ban condor blood-lead level data. The comparison showed that, contrary to the lead ban proponents’ assurances, the incidence of lead exposure and poisoning in condors has not gone down since AB 821 took effect. In fact, the blood-lead levels remain mostly static, and in some condors, blood-lead levels and mortality have actually increased.

The extremist environmental groups continue to use faulty scientific papers, where researchers have been found to be hiding underlying data and avoiding further peer scrutiny, to achieve their agenda of banning lead ammunition altogether. These researchers have long argued the science shows that lead ammunition is the cause of lead poisoning for California condors and other wildlife. However, the recently published Finkelstein, et al. paper concedes that AB 821 has had no effect on lead poisoning in condors. The paper, however, tenuously concludes that despite 99% hunter compliance with the lead ban, a total ban on lead ammunition is required to achieve success.

There are obviously other sources of lead in the environment. These alternative sources are likely an industrial lead compound (e.g leaded gasoline, paint or pesticides), which is far more soluble and bioavailable to condors. We have identified some of those potential alternative sources, and we encourage you to join the hunt for the truth with us and learn the real facts! To learn all the facts in the lead ammunition debate, visit www.huntfortruth.org.