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Report to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission: The Use of Nontoxic Shot for Hunting in Washington

Category: Wildlife Research and Management - Health

Date Published: February 12, 2001

Number of Pages: 20

Author(s): Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Nontoxic Shot Working Group

Lead shot use and possession has been prohibited for all waterfowl, coot, and snipe hunting in Washington since a nationwide phase-in of nontoxic shot was implemented in 1986-1991. At the April 7, 2000 Commission meeting, WDFW presented proposed amendments to WAC 232-12-068, Nontoxic Shot Requirements. The amendments expanded nontoxic shot requirements for hunting of all species to 10 pheasant release sites and other areas, based on a high potential for ingestion of lead by wildlife. During consideration of amendments, the Commission directed the Department to study the impact and feasibility of a statewide ban on the use of lead shot for all hunting. In addition, the Department was directed to develop a timeline for public comment, adoption, and public education on the possible statewide ban. In consideration of a timeline proposed by WDFW at the August 10, 2000 meeting, the Commission identified a literature review and survey of other states as the first steps in evaluating nontoxic shot requirements in Washington. This report provides a summary of relevant literature and a survey of other states’ nontoxic shot requirements, and also examines other aspects of nontoxic shot use related to ballistic performance, compliance, and regulatory options.