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Still Waters

Lead gunshot 'poisoning UK birds'

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Lead poisoning from spent gun ammunition is a major cause of death among UK waterbirds, scientists say.

Scientists found 10% of dead waterbirds collected from 1971 to 2010 died from lead poisoning and a third of a sample of living birds were also affected.

They said it showed laws restricting use of lead gunshot were not working.

Shooting groups rejected this saying that few people now used lead gunshot but there was a "historical legacy" of lead shot in the environment.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/19822198

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Lead ammo has been around for a long time.

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Sadly this is not new. I worked on a reserve that allowed permitted and policed wildfowling- lead free shot was a legal requirement yet you still sometimes found the cartridges. We had a lot of very angry wildfowlers hoping to find out who it was to give them a "piece of their mind" before passing their details on to the authorities.

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Fishing weights made from lead are also consumed by birds, and some states have banned the sale of new lead weights, or restrict their use. Whenever I walk shorelines I pick up all the lead I can see-I have jars of the stuff because I don't know what to do with it. Weights made of alternative materials are available.

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