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Ottawa, Apr 29 (Canadian-Media): According to two studies released recently by Environment and Climate Change Canada linked the lead contamination in environment to discarded bullets, sinkers, jigs, media reports said.
Guns. Image credit: Wikipedia
"Most lead used in ammunition is lost to the environment," says one of the two reports, commissioned from Toxecology - Environmental Consulting Ltd.
"The popularity of shooting sports has grown over the past 5 years and this trend is expected to continue, hence increased uses and releases of lead via ammunition are expected over the next 10 years."
Lead ammunition had been banned by Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden and California is in the process of doing so.
Use of lead in fishing gear had also been curbed by some jurisdictions.
Canadian government, over many years, had reportedly removed lead in gasoline, paints and food cans which, subsequently had led to the significant drop in levels of lead found in the air and in blood samples.
In March, the Liberal government had tabled gun-control legislation – Bill C-71 – which was opposed by gun groups.
"The only purpose of this is to set up more anti-gun obstacles," Tony Bernardo, head of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, said in an interview. "That's what it's designed to do."
Lead-free ammunition is available, but it's reportedly more expensive than the traditional product.
The authors of the study also warned that gun owners will oppose any move to replace the lead in ammunition with other metals, such as steel.
Use of lead ammunition by hunters shooting migratory waterfowl had been banned since the 1990s.
But several previous attempts by the federal government to eliminate the highly toxic metal from all ammunition have failed, largely because of opposition from gun owners.
Tony Bernardo, head of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association, describing a federal government report on lead in ammunition. Both Toxecology reports were commissioned in 2016 to update government estimates of the amount of lead entering the environment from hunting and fishing.
"We will draw on the studies' findings, along with feedback received from stakeholders, including provinces, territories and Indigenous groups, to develop an approach to encourage lead-free ammunition and sinkers and jigs in Canada," Mark Johnson, spokesman for Environment and Climate Change Canada said
The department recently sent out emails and letters to more than 1,500 stakeholders, including hunters and anglers, asking for feedback by June 1.