SPEA campaigns for lead ban
SPEA (BirdLife in Portugal) is supporting calls for a ban on hunting using lead shot. A meeting this June in Portugal was told that lead poisoning, through ingestion of hunters' spent lead shot, is a significant cause of mortality – possibly affecting more than 10% of ducks and rails in Portuguese wetlands. At certain times of the year, 60% of Mallards tested had blood lead levels indicating poisoning.
"SPEA wants to see a ban on hunting using lead shot in Portuguese wetlands," said Luis Costa, Director of SPEA. "Danish hunters at the meeting reported that non-toxic alternatives to lead shot exist that are equally effective and similar in cost. It's crazy to continue poisoning the environment needlessly."
In 2004, BirdLife and FACE signed an agreement which includes a proposal to ban lead shot for hunting in European wetlands by 2009.
The meeting was organised by the Escola Superior Agrária de Coimbra and Instituto Superior de Agronomia and involved representatives from conservation and hunting associations including SPEA, the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA), Wetlands International, FACE (the European Hunters Federation), Portuguese Government Hunting Services, the National Confederation of Portuguese Hunters, CIC (International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation) and the Danish Hunters' Association.