LAS VEGAS, Dec. 5, 2012 - The Center for Biological Diversity is launching a series of newspaper and radio ads in Las Vegas this week urging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to block efforts to ban the federal government from regulating lead in hunting ammunition and fishing tackle. "Lead poisons children," the ads say. "So why is the Senate trying to kill efforts to protect families and the environment from toxic lead in ammunition?"
The campaign includes dozens of spots on three Las Vegas radio stations and a full-page ad in Vegas Seven.
"Senator Reid can and should stop this lethal legislation dead in its tracks," said Rob Mrowka, an ecologist at the Center's Nevada office. "Lead ammo endangers hunters and their families, as well as bald eagles and other wildlife. The public is counting on Senator Reid to do the right thing. We know he can."
The radio ads, which direct listeners to GetTheLeadOut.org, are being aired on KSNE (106.5 FM), KKLZ (96.3 FM) and KXPT (97.1 FM). Listen to the ad here or see the print ad here.
The U.S. Senate is currently considering the "Sportmen's Act," a bill including a provision backed by the National Rifle Association that would ban the Environmental Protection Agency from considering any proposals to curb toxic lead in hunting ammunition and fishing tackle. More than 14,000 of tons of lead are shot into the environment every year by hunting. Spent lead and ammo fragments in shot game endanger 10 million hunters, their families and low-income recipients of venison donations. Children and pregnant women are most at risk.
This lead also poisons and kills millions of birds every year, including swans, loons, eagles and cranes. More than 265 organizations in 40 states are calling on the EPA to regulate toxic lead in hunting ammunition. The coalition, organized by the Center's "Get the Lead Out" campaign, includes groups representing conservationists, anglers, hunters, birders, veterinarians, American Indians and public employees.
The so-called "Sportsmen's Act" would prevent the EPA from doing anything to address, or even evaluate, the needless and preventable killing of wildlife and the threat that lead exposure from ammunition and fishing tackle poses to people. Since the Senate has had no legislative markups of this exemption and no debates on the issue, Sen. Reid's leadership is needed to protect people and wildlife from lead exposure.
"We've taken toxic lead out of gasoline and paint. There's no reason we shouldn't do the same for hunting ammunition and fishing tackle, especially when there are viable, effective alternatives on the market," Mrowka said. "Allowing the NRA to gut our toxic laws is a dangerous prospect for both human health and wildlife."
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