SAHGCA's POSITION ON THE USE OF LEAD SHOT WHEN HUNTING BIRDS IN WETLANDS
Posted on the 15th August 2014
The SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association's (SAHGCA) position on the use of lead shot when hunting birds in wetlands
SAHGCA does not support the use of lead shot where the pellets end up in water bodies (wetlands, pans, dams, rivers and streams) where they can be ingested by water birds that are filter feeders. SAHGCA recommends that hunters use alternative ammunition or avoid shooting in high risk areas.
SAHGCA appeals to importers of shotgun ammunition in South Africa to import effective alternative shotgun ammunition suitable for hunting waterfowl in wetlands.
SAHGCA requests the authorities to offer incentives with significant benefits to hunters who voluntarily use alternative shotgun ammunition in high risk areas.
SAHGCA requests relevant organisations and research institutions to initiate research into the extent of lead residue and the incidence of other dangerous heavy metals emanating from mining activities in wetlands, and to determine the levels of lead and heavy metal poisoning in waterfowl.
SAHGCA believes that any decisions on further restrictions of lead in ammunition should be confirmed by proper research in consultation with interest groups in the hunting and shooting community towards ensuring that the environmental, economic and social impact is considered properly, before any decisions are taken on further restrictions. Should further restrictions be imposed, it should be supported by an extensive awareness campaign and law enforcement.