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USFWS: Three New Shot Types Approved for Waterfowl Hunters   PDF  Print  E-mail 
Written by Nicholas Throckmorton, FWS  
Tuesday, 10 August 2004

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service yesterday approved three new non-toxic shot types B tungsten-bronze-iron, a new formulation of tungsten-iron, and tungsten-tin-bismuth B for use in waterfowl hunting.

The approval published in the Federal Register today. Todays action brings to 10, the number of non-toxic shot types available to waterfowl hunters.

"Protecting our waterfowl populations while ensuring waterfowl hunting opportunities are two things we take very seriously, said Service Director Steve Williams. With each new shot type approved, hunters will have a wider range of choices as they continue to play a key role in the conservation of waterfowl and its habitat."

International Nontoxic Composites Corporation's application of tungsten-bronze-iron shot, ENVIRON-Metal Inc.s application of tungsten-iron shot, and Victor Oltrogge's application for tungsten-tin-bismuth shot have all been approved after being subjects to a rigorous testing protocol.

Previously, hunters were allowed to use steel shot, bismuth-tin, tungsten-iron, tungsten-polymer, tungsten- matrix, tungsten-nickel-iron and tungsten-iron-nickel-tin. For more information on toxic and nontoxic shot, please see <http://migratorybirds.fws.gov/issues/nontoxic_shot/nontoxic.htm>.

Efforts to phase out lead shot began in the 1970s and a nationwide ban on lead shot for all waterfowl hunting was implemented in 1991. Canada instituted a complete ban in 1999. Waterfowl can ingest expended lead shot and many then die from lead poisoning. In addition, predators that consume waterfowl may ingest the shot.

A study in the mid-1990s found that the nationwide ban in the United States on the use of lead shot for waterfowl hunting has had remarkable success.

Six years after the ban, researchers estimated a 64 percent reduction in lead poisoning deaths of surveyed mallard ducks and a 78 percent decline on ingestion of lead pellets.

The rule published in the Federal Register is available at <http://migratorybirds.fws.gov>.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 10 August 2004 )

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