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According to the Wychbold Swan Rescue site's news page they took fourteen swans off with lead poisoning in one month. How the hell can that possibly be due to weights being discarded by today's anglers? As pointed out it is almost impossible to buy lead shot and presumably anyone who still has any will look after it like each one was a diamond! I doubt if fourteen lead shot have been discarded on that length of river in the last year. Any shot being eaten now was probably dropped years ago and has been uncovered in the heavy floods in spring, much as gold is left in panning. My house has some lead piping over a hundred years old, it doesn't dissolve in water! Shot dropped by Izaak Walton will still be intact.

Banning fishing would just be a pointless, spiteful act.

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Is there any boat traffic on the river at Bewdley or upstream?, if there is then theres probably more dissolved lead in the water as a direct result of exhaust fumes than anglers could put in during a hundred lifetimes

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Do swans migrate over to the continent (where lead shot is still available) or do they stay in this country all year round? :unsure:

John S

Quanti Canicula Ille In Fenestra

 

Species caught in 2017 Common Ash, Hawthorn, Hazel, Scots Pine, White Willow.

Species caught in 2016: Alder, Blackthorn, Common Ash, Crab Apple, Left Earlobe, Pedunculate Oak, Rock Whitebeam, Scots Pine, Smooth-leaved Elm, Swan, Wayfaring tree.

Species caught in 2015: Ash, Bird Cherry, Black-Headed Gull, Common Hazel, Common Whitebeam, Elder, Field Maple, Gorse, Puma, Sessile Oak, White Willow.

Species caught in 2014: Big Angry Man's Ear, Blackthorn, Common Ash, Common Whitebeam, Downy Birch, European Beech, European Holly, Hawthorn, Hazel, Scots Pine, Wych Elm.
Species caught in 2013: Beech, Elder, Hawthorn, Oak, Right Earlobe, Scots Pine.

Species caught in 2012: Ash, Aspen, Beech, Big Nasty Stinging Nettle, Birch, Copper Beech, Grey Willow, Holly, Hazel, Oak, Wasp Nest (that was a really bad day), White Poplar.
Species caught in 2011: Blackthorn, Crab Apple, Elder, Fir, Hawthorn, Horse Chestnut, Oak, Passing Dog, Rowan, Sycamore, Willow.
Species caught in 2010: Ash, Beech, Birch, Elder, Elm, Gorse, Mullberry, Oak, Poplar, Rowan, Sloe, Willow, Yew.

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Budgie - I dunno about UK shotgunners but in the States there is a major move toward steel or tungsten pellets and lead (in shot sizes smaller than buckshot) is banned for many types of hunting including waterfowling.

 

Lead split shot is still used in all US States other than (I think) California. Canada has outlawed it even for uses like jig heads.

" My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference!" - Harry Truman, 33rd US President

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Do swans migrate over to the continent (where lead shot is still available) or do they stay in this country all year round? :unsure:

 

John I cant remember if it has allready been banned in Europe or wether its still going through the relevant channels.

 

But really I honestly dont think it has anything to do with the problem.

 

All though I can accept that due to lead not decomposing that even the small amounts lost by anglers could/does accumulate to a lot over the decades before we stopped using lead.(at this point I would like to remind everyone that anglers voluntarily stopped using lead some years before the laws were brought in).

 

My problem with the whole issue is that I honestly believe that very,very little of any lead shot found in swans is anglers split shot.I say this as to a simple man like myself it seems highlyunlikely that swans would pick up anywhere near the amount of shot from the bottom of a river,lake,pond or cannal as they would out of a feild of crops where you often see then (especially at night) Shot from shooters must be in a far greater quantity and far easily picked up than any anglers shot?But hell why am I trying to justify this just show me the shot from these dead birds and lets see if its split or not.

 

While lead from fuels etc does get into the water I dont really think this is the true problem either. Its simply lead shot from shotgun cartridges that the swans pick up mistaken for grit which they need for assisting their digestive system.

 

Yes I accept that a percentage may be from anglers split shot of old but I struggle to see what we can do about that and even more so what stopping angling (a decade or so after we stopped using lead shot!) will do?

 

As I said what sort of logic does this show? especially as I believe shooters still use lead.

 

Classic case and I hope an indication of any outcome of trying to placate the anti angling brigade.WE gave up lead split shot decades ago yet here we are still getting hung out to dry for it.

 

Remember this lesson the next time you think banning livebaiting,use of keepnets or whatever to "please" the antis wouild be a good idea.

 

Once again nothing to do with the enviroment or swans but purely to stop angling.

And thats my "non indicative opinion"!

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Budgie - I dunno about UK shotgunners but in the States there is a major move toward steel or tungsten pellets and lead (in shot sizes smaller than buckshot) is banned for many types of hunting including waterfowling.

 

Lead split shot is still used in all US States other than (I think) California. Canada has outlawed it even for uses like jig heads.

 

Newt, in shot sizes is buckshot smaller or larger than BB?

 

You mention the banning of lead in California,I was under the impression that there are a lot of lead restrictions (as in its use in other materials) in the US any way.Is this the reason for the ban in California or has there been any problems (or in any of the US for that matter) with birds etc being poisoned (or suspected of being) by lead shot?

And thats my "non indicative opinion"!

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Some time ago I did an informal internet based research into lead poisoning of swans and waterfowl around the world.

 

Interesting that it is an international problem.

 

In areas where angling is popular much is made of the anglers lead ban in the UK in arguing for local restrictions on angling.

 

Where angling isn't so prevalent, then wildfowlers shot is assumed to tbe the culprit.

 

But in really remote areas, blame is more likely to be attached to minining activities etc.

 

Same problem around the world, but localised scape-goats according to localised activities that might possibly be responsible.

 

The reason why lead-shot is often cited is that swans pick up gravel of specific size that they retain in their gizzards to grind food.

 

When they pick up soft lead of similar size, the lead is slowly ground down in the gizzard, releasing lead into the stomach and passing into the blood-stream (it is amazingly small amounts in the blood stream that ause damage).

 

There is evidence that swans that are suffering from lead become addicted to the 'buzz', and actively seek out lead shot!

 

Lead shot that is larger or smaller than the gravel sizes that swans pick up is not thought to be a problem.

 

Lead shot, being one of the heaviest materials, tends to be quickly buried quite deeply and out of reach, although floood conditions can scour out old lead, and bring it together from a wide area into a localised deposit.

 

Other sources of pervasive lead-poisoning in the environment are paint, leaded petrol etc and it's interesting that the incidence of lead-poisoning in the swan population is more closely associated with growing use of river-craft and urban development than lead shot being used by anglers.

RNLI Shoreline Member

Member of the Angling Trust

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You mention the banning of lead in California,I was under the impression that there are a lot of lead restrictions (as in its use in other materials) in the US any way.Is this the reason for the ban in California or has there been any problems (or in any of the US for that matter) with birds etc being poisoned (or suspected of being) by lead shot?

 

California specifically banned the use of lead projectiles (which covers all types of ammunition) because it was believed the endangered Condors were injesting lead fragments after eating carcasses left behind by hunters. New York has something similiar I believe. There are other reasons for banning the use but this one looks like it was driven by conservative and environmental groups.

 

I don't think lead poisoning in waterfowl is any less prominent in the US. It is just less documented and doesn't make the news given the size of the country.

 

There are quite a few health and safety requirements involving lead but they are governed mostly by each state.

 

Without sounding like an anti myself, (banning anything) I personally think it would be prudent to find alternatives and educate people to the dangers of using lead (even in wheel balancing). Banning it in the US won't stop the problem but it may reduce it. If a few animals benefit from it, well they can't be protected from lead that has already been introduced (naturally or not), but they can be protected from the introduction of new.

Jeff

 

Piscator non solum piscatur.

 

Yellow Prowler13

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