Lead Astray: The Unbiased Truth About Lead Tackle

Gene Nieminen - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service"It's nothing to do with lead tackle and everything to do with our rights getting taken away. The anti's are slowly chipping away at our freedoms bit by bit," states the website for "Hunters Against PETA."They are prompting their members to refute any bans or legislation banning lead fishing tackle without proper scientific evidence. Fishing and hunting enthusiasts who are against the petition argue that the numbers are inflated by including animals that may not of died due to lead. Included in the numbers are animals that have been found dead with lead in their system, but the cause of death was not necessarily directly related to lead.Another argument is the financial impacts on the industry if lead tackle were to be outright banned across the entire country. Making fishing tackle with lead alternatives cost more, and that may result in lower profit margins. If the difference in cost is forced upon the angler, then it creates a barrier that prevents more people from getting into the sport. It might seem insignificant if you think of an individual sale, but multiply that by hundreds of sales over several years, and there is a large increase in cost to the angler.So really, is this an environmental question or a human rights question? Whether you believe animals are dying from ingesting lead or not, may not even been the issue. Do you want regulations to infringe even more on fishing?Or regardless, should we be doing our very best to mitigate any potential damage to wildlife and to heck with being pumped up about being overregulated? Maybe it's just the right thing to do.It might very well be up to you to decide for now - but all indications point to having to get off lead sooner than later.

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