U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Approves a New Non-Toxic Shot

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Approves a New Non-Toxic Shot

On August 23, 2005, The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved a non-toxic shot type composed of iron-tungsten-nickel for waterfowl hunting and coot hunting in the United States. In addition, the Service will publish tomorrow in the Federal Register proposed approval for four additional nontoxic shot types.

The approved shot, manufactured by ENVIRON-Metal Inc. of Sweet Home, Ore., is composed of 62 percent iron, 25 percent tungsten and 13 percent nickel (ITN).

The Service’s approval of ITN shot and its proposal to approve the four other shot types demonstrates our determination to make it easier for hunters to comply with restrictions on lead shot. Hunters now have more choices of shot types that will continue to reduce waterfowl’s exposure to lead,” said Acting Service Director Matt Hogan. “The Service appreciates the efforts of the companies that have developed alternatives to lead shot.”

The four shot types under consideration are:

Tungsten-iron-copper-nickel (TICN) shot, comprising 40-76 percent tungsten, 10-37 percent iron, 9-16 percent copper and 5-7 percent nickel and made by Spherical Precision, Inc. of Tustin, Calif.

Iron-tungsten-nickel (ITN) alloys, composed of 20-70 percent tungsten, 10-40 percent nickel and 10-70 percent iron, manufactured by ENVIRON-Metal Inc. of Sweet Home, Ore.

Tungsten-bronze (TB) shot, made of 60 percent tungsten, 35.1 percent copper, 3.9 percent tin and 1 percent iron by Olin Corporation of East Alton, Ill.

Tungsten-tin-iron (TTI) shot, composed of 58 percent tungsten, 38 percent tin and 4 percent iron, from Nice Shot, Inc., of Albion, Penn.

Waterfowl can ingest expended lead shot and die from lead poisoning. Efforts to phase out lead shot began in the 1970s, and a nationwide ban on lead shot for all waterfowl hunting was implemented in 1991. Canada instituted a complete ban in 1999.

A study in the mid-1990s suggested that the nationwide ban in the United States on the use of lead shot for waterfowl hunting has had remarkable success. Six years after the ban, researchers estimated a 64 percent reduction in lead poisoning deaths of surveyed mallard ducks and a 78 percent decline of lead pellet ingestion. The study found that restriction on lead shot prevented the deaths of thousands of waterfowl.

With the approval of this new shot, the list of approved shot types for waterfowl hunting includes bismuth-tin, iron (steel), iron-tungsten (2 types), iron-tungsten-nickel, tungsten-bronze, tungsten-matrix, tungsten-nickel-iron, tungsten-polymer, tungsten-tin-bismuth and tungsten-tin-iron-nickel.

For more information on toxic and nontoxic shot, see:


The final rule for the ITN shot approval and the proposed rule for the other shot types are available at http://migratorybirds.fws.gov , by clicking on the "Regulations" button.

You may submit comments on the four proposed approvals by internet by visiting http://migratorybirds.fws.gov and following the links to submit a comment, or by e-mail to George_T_Allen@fws.gov (include “RIN 1018-AU04" in the subject line of the message).

Comments may also be submitted by fax to 703-358-2217; by mail to Chief, Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Mail Stop MBSP-4107, Arlington, Virginia 22203-1610; or by hand delivery at Division of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4501 North Fairfax Drive, Room 4091, Arlington, Virginia 22203-1610.

Those interested may also submit comments using the Federal eRulemaking Portal, identified by RIN 1018-AU04, at http://www.regulations.gov

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 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 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 wildlife conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

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