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California in Brief / SACRAMENTO

Lead ammunition ban is expanded

December 08, 2007|Patrick McGreevy

The state Fish and Game Commission has expanded its ban on the use of lead ammunition in hunting grounds that also are home to California condors.

Earlier this year, the state Legislature outlawed most lead ammunition in hunting rifles, saying that rare California condors suffer lead poisoning when they eat animal carcasses left behind by hunters. Friday's 3-1 vote by game commissioners goes further, however, and prohibits the use of lead in firearms that are .22 caliber or smaller.

"It's important because if you talk to condor recovery biologists, the No. 1 threat to condor recovery is lead poisoning," said Kim Delfino, a representative of the group Defenders of Wildlife.

With only about 300 California condors left, 17 of the birds statewide were found this year to have lead poisoning.

The new regulations go into effect July 1.

-- Patrick McGreevy

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