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Pushing back on lead ammo and fishing tackle misinformation

white man in gray shirt, Benjamin Haywood
Benjamin Haywood, assistant director, Faculty Development Center.

Benjamin Haywood, assistant director of the Faculty Development Center at Furman University, was tapped for an article appearing in Environmental Health News. The story describes how organizations like the NRA are waging a misinformation campaign to thwart efforts by conservation groups to ban the use of lead in ammunition and fishing tackle, which endangers wildlife and poses risks to human health.

Raptors such as the bald eagle can ingest lead when they scavenge for food in the form of deer, elk and other carcasses which harbor the toxic element introduced by gunshot. Lead sinkers in fishing tackle can also end up in the digestive systems of waterfowl.

“This is a one hundred percent preventable problem,” said Haywood, an environmental geographer and former wildlife medic at Tamarack Wildlife Center in Saegertown, Pennsylvania. Advocating for the use of non-lead options, Haywood characterized the issue of lead in hunting and fishing as low-hanging fruit when it comes to natural resource stewardship. “[The issue] has unfortunately become part of a focused campaign motivated by identity politics and fear,” he said.

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