Letter to the Editor

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Lead-based ammunition and fishing tackle

Congratulations to the Association of Avian Veterinarians for advocating the replacement of lead-based fishing tackle and ammunition used for hunting with nontoxic alternatives.1 Waterfowl are threatened with lead poisoning through ingestion of lead shot and sinkers, and raptors such as condors and eagles develop plumbism as a result of scavenging on carcasses of animals hit by bullets or shotgun pellets containing lead. Humans eating such game are also at risk. Lead-free equipment is available for sportsmen, so there is no threat to second amendment rights. The position taken by the Association of Avian Veterinarians is good for wildlife conservation and public health. I hope other veterinary organizations such as the Alliance of Veterinarians for the Environment, the American Association of Public Health Veterinarians, the American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians, the American College of Zoological Medicine, and the AVMA consider this issue and take a similar position.

Leonard C. Marcus, VMD, MD

Newton, Mass.

1. Protecting wild birds from lead poisoning. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2012;241:1550.

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