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Is Britain’s ban on lead gunshot working?

Mallards wade in the shallow water of a large puddle in Kersey, England. Photo by Robert Madden.

 

According to a recent study, large numbers of waterfowl in the United Kingdom are being poisoned. The alleged perpetrator? Lead gunshot the birds ingest after–perhaps long after–it was initially fired. Scientists involved in the research contend that British hunters aren’t complying with laws that phased out the use of lead shot in the late 1990’s. British hunting groups say otherwise. What’s apparently not in dispute: birds frequently graze on the toxic lead pellets and can later suffer organ failure or paralysis.