The push by greens and academics for lead-free bullets has reared its head in Australia, with another culling study suggesting that cullers should use lead-free bullets.
The Weekly Times has reported, “a recent joint study by Melbourne and Murdoch Universities and the NSW Government has found the current use of lead bullets could be replaced by lead-free bullets”.
The numbers appear to be very subjective; however the results “estimated in NSW alone there were 67,000 equivalent toxic lead doses to wedge-tailed eagles in feral pig carcasses culled with traditional lead bullets each year”.
“The lead posed a significant threat to scavenger animals such as wedge-tailed eagles, as well as leaching into soil to affect plants”.
“The study looked at aerial culling of pigs, where the animals were left to rot”.
Centre for Anthropogenic Pollution Impact and Management director Suzie Reichman said lead toxicity in plants caused “reduced growth, leaf yellowing and blackened roots”.
“If plants are able to absorb high enough concentrations of lead then they could die”, however “it’s very rare for lead in soil to have high enough solubility, and therefore bioavailability, for plants to absorb enough lead that it results in plants dying,” Prof Reichman said.
The greatest risk is to “humans or other organisms that eat the lead-contaminated soil or plants” said Prof Reichman, in particular the direct consumption of soil such as by worms or cows that “consume soil attached to grass”.
The use of lead bullets sounds extremely grim from the Professorsview point. It would be good to hear from anyone that has witnessed negative effects from lead core bullets.