Save Bald Eagles from Lead Poisoning

bald eagle

Target: Daniel M. Ashe, Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Goal: Remove toxic lead from hunting ammunition to save bald eagles from lead poisoning

Many hunters use lead ammunition because it is the standard type they’re used to buying. However, after hunters make their shots, small particles of lead are left scattered in the various organs of the hit animal. Bald eagles, as well as other types of eagles and birds, naturally come to pick up what’s left behind by hunters, ingesting bits of poisonous lead with each bite. We must remove toxic lead from hunting ammunition to save bald eagles from lead poisoning.

Plenty of preventative measures have been taken to keep lead out of our paint, foods, and children’s toys. Why should wildlife be excluded from these protections? Some experts have stated that around 130 species of wildlife are at risk of being poisoned by lead ammunition. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has already banned lead ammunition for goose and duck hunting, and there are requirements for non-lead ammunition in various state parks around the country. However, lead ammunition is still being used and sold, destroying wildlife species in many places.

Sign the below petition to urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state and local governments, and the National Rifle Association (NRA) to put the welfare of wildlife above the need for lead-based bullets for hunting.


Dear Director Ashe,

The bald eagle is a symbol of America’s freedom, however this species is not free to live without the risk of lead poisoning. Bald eagles, golden eagles, and other types of birds and mammals regularly feed upon the portions of killed animals that are left behind by hunters. Since lead bullets reach the organs of the target animals upon impact, eagles are ingesting lead bits and suffering ill health.

Although lead ammunition has been banned in many wildlife refuges and parks, lead bullets are still used in many parts of the country. Meanwhile, there are plenty of alternative ammunition types available to hunters.

I am urging you to work with the NRA, state and local parks, and environmental groups to implement a nation-wide ban on lead bullets for the sake of wildlife. More than 100 species are at risk of being poisoned by lead ammunition right now. Hopefully, the bald eagle, our national symbol, won’t face further risk of extinction because of our own hunting habits.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Carl Chapman via WikiMedia Commons

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  1. I am so opposed to hunting in the first place, but to learn that the bald eagles are picking up toxic lead from ammunition from hunters hunting is new to me so these two problems combined disturbs me.
    Please clean up lead toxicity around hunting grounds.

  2. Ken Goldsmith says:

    I am surprised hunting ammo is still allowed to contain lead. Under the R.O.H.S. regime, we are not allowed to use it in solder or integrated circuits any more, yet hunting ammo is broadcast far and wide throughout what you would expect to be pristine environment. A problem is, what do you replace lead with? In military ammo, it is typically depleted uranium, which is at least as contentious. Other options are pretty expensive. Perhaps it is time to cease recreational shooting?

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