Protect People from Exposure to Lead in Game Meat

There is an important bill passing through the Oregon legislature this week.

As you may know, exposure to lead is highly regulated in products such as gasoline, paint and pipes. However, today, lead ammunition remains what is likely the greatest largely unregulated source of lead that is knowingly discharged into the environment. Though lead is a known toxin to both wildlife and people, with disproportionate impacts on children, lead bullets continue to be allowed for big game hunting.

This week the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources is considering revisions to a bill that regulates the donation of game meat to food banks.


A photo of a deer standing in a field at the forest edge.

Take Action

Please send a letter to the Committee letting them know that you support amendment -A3 to HB 2525.

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A provision has been proposed which would would amend the bill to require that game meat donated to food banks be inspected first for contamination from lead bullet fragments. This is because lead ammunition fragments into hundreds of pieces upon impact with a target, spreading up to 14 inches from the bullet pathway and effectively lacing the meat with lead dust. Though we support the donation of game meat to food banks and other charitable organizations, we believe that the screening of this meat for lead is a common sense way to ensure that food bank patrons are protected from this source of lead exposure.

This amendment will protect the health of recipients of donated meat while also raising awareness in the legislature and in the community of the significant risk that lead ammunition poses to those who ingest game meat harvested with lead ammunition.