- Published: Thursday, March 16, 2017 02:30 PM
As the Trump administration rolls back important environmental oversight, such as a ban on the use of lead-based ammunition on federal lands, it will be up to state and local leaders to ensure wildlife, public lands and people continue to be protected, Senator Don Harmon said Thursday.
Harmon is the sponsor of Senate Bill 1985, which would bar the use of lead-based ammunition for hunting in state parks and natural areas in Illinois to curb the accidental poisoning of wildlife.
“I am pleased to help Illinois lead the way on this reasonable and very important public health initiative,” Harmon said. “Research indicates that bans on lead-based ammunition have a positive impact on wildlife and human health.”
In January, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Obama administration outlawed the use of lead ammunition and fishing sinkers on 150 million acres of federal lands, including national parks, wildlife refuges and other public property.
However, the Trump administration overturned the ban last week.
Research shows that a single shotgun pellet can cause organ failure and brain damage that affect an animal’s neuromuscular, auditory and visual responses. Furthermore, there is evidence that lead poisoning causes lethargy, blindness, paralysis of the lungs and intestinal tracts, seizure and death in animals.
An estimated 10 million to 20 million animals are killed every year by ingesting lead shot.
In addition, experts say lead-based ammunition causes elevated lead exposure in gun users and can be incorporated into processed meat for human consumption.