Letter: Lead poisons wetland

Last updated 11:04 24/12/2012

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OPINION: There's abundant science showing that steel doesn't perform ballistically the same as lead.

If one persists in wanting to use steel as if it were lead, one naturally will not get the same results.

Scientific research has been done showing that bismuth non- toxic shot, 87 per cent as heavy as lead, though more expensive, ballistically performs similarly to lead.

An accomplished shooter can kill ducks consistently at 60 metres with steel, lead or bismuth, but most shooters don't take the trouble to be accomplished with any of them.

Fish and Game has employed the science to make reasonable restrictive limits on 10- and 12-gauge shotgun shooters.

Where is the science supporting another year of allowing smaller-gauge shooters, on top of the seven they have already had, to continue to poison a wide variety of wetland bird species?

The folks who feel their personal likes and unilateral hunting preferences should be the prime directive for Fish and Game have a right to express themselves.

Those of us who have quietly sat back for seven years and lived with the double standard, trusting Fish and Game's use of science for the sustainability of the resource, are wondering where the justice is.

Most of the pellets of every fired toxic lead-shot shell, regardless of gauge, fall into our wetlands, even when the target is killed.

Who speaks for the diverse bird species which remain at risk in this water quality issue?

Where are DOC, Environment Southland, and Forest and Bird?

TONY REIGER
Riverton

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