Support for Non-Toxic Shot for Hunting Webless Migratory Game Birds

Number: 2007-18


WHEREAS, spent lead shot has been demonstrated to be lethal to migratory waterfowl and other migratory birds; and

WHEREAS, waterfowl hunters have been using non-toxic shot for decades to minimize lead shot poisoning; and

WHEREAS, some states do not require non-toxic shot for hunting wetland obligate migratory game species such as rails, snipe and sandhill cranes; and

WHEREAS, toxicity studies conducted by the Missouri Department of Conservation show high mortalities of captive mourning doves after ingesting lead shot; and

WHEREAS, dove hunting can result in significant deposition of lead shot in the field, depending on the concentration of hunters, which is available for consumption by non-target species such as nongame birds;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation, at its annual meeting assembled March 30-31, 2007, in Washington, D.C., urges the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to mandate non-toxic shot be required to hunt all wetland obligate migratory game species such as rails, snipe and sandhill cranes by September 2011; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others should be encouraged to fund research to determine the extent and frequency of lead shot ingestion in mourning doves in the United States and to determine the best practices to reduce lead shot ingestion. Conservationists should work together with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state agencies, and industry leaders to persuade influential people and organizations if it becomes clear that requiring the use of non-toxic shot will be in the best interests of wildlife and the future of hunting.