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GLIN==> USFWS Approves Non-Toxic Shot for Upcoming Waterfowl Season

Contact: Nicholas Throckmorton 202/208-5636


Hunters will now have a choice of eight non-toxic shots for waterfowl
hunting, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced.

On January 10, 2003, the Service gave permanent approval to ENVIRON-Metal=s
HEVI- SHOT brand of non- toxic shot that contains a tungsten, iron, nickel
and tin formulation (TINT).  The shot had been given temporary approval,
pending completion of toxicological studies and other evaluations.

This will give waterfowl hunters another option for hunting@, said Service
Director Steve Williams.

ENVIRON-Metal=s application included information on chemical
characterization, production variability, use volume, toxicological
effects, environmental fate and transport, and evaluation. In accordance
with its regulations, on May 10, 2002, the Service published in the Federal
Register a proposed rule indicating intent to approve TINT shot. After
reviewing the application and supporting data and evaluating public
comment, the Service has determined that this shot does not pose a
significant danger to migratory birds and other wildlife or their habitats.

Efforts to phase out lead shot began in the 1970s, but a nationwide ban on
lead shot for all waterfowl hunting was not implemented until 1991. Canada
instituted a complete ban on the use of lead shot in 1999, after banning
its use near bodies of water and on national wildlife areas earlier.

In order to measure the effect of the ban on lead shot, researchers
examined thousands of ducks harvested in the Mississippi Flyway during the
1996 and 1997 waterfowl seasons, the fifth and sixth seasons after the 1991
ban on lead shot.  Based on the survey's findings, researchers William L.
Anderson of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Stephen P.
Havera and Bradley W. Zercher of the Illinois Natural History Survey
estimate that the ban on lead shot reduced lead poisoning deaths of
Mississippi Flyway mallards by 64 percent, while overall ingestion of toxic
pellets declined by 78 percent over previous levels.

The report concludes that by significantly reducing lead shot ingestion in
waterfowl, the ban prevented the lead poisoning deaths of approximately 1.4
million ducks in the 1997 fall flight of 90 million ducks. In addition, the
researchers state that approximately 462,000 to 615,000 acres of breeding
habitat would have been required to produce the same number of birds that
potentially were saved by nontoxic shot regulations that year. With the ban
now entering its twelfth year, ingestion of lead shot has probably
continued to decline from the levels documented in the study, preventing an
increasing number of lead poisoning deaths.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency
responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and
plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American
people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge
System which encompasses 540 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small
wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national
fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services
field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the
Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores
nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat
such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation
efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds
of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to
state fish and wildlife agencies.

- FWS -

For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
visit our home page at <http://fws.gov>.

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