Get the lead out: Poison ammo and tackle a problem on P.E.I.

A wildlife veterinarian is urging P.E.I. fishers and hunters to switch to non-lead ammunition and tackle.

'There's certainly been eagles with lead poisoning brought in'

Earlier this year this eagle was treated for lead poisoning at the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. (Submitted by the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre)

A wildlife veterinarian is urging P.E.I. fishers and hunters to switch to non-lead ammunition and tackle.

Dr. Helene Van Doninck, co-founder of the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre near Truro, N.S., said bald eagles, scavengers and sea birds can die from eating animal carcasses tainted with lead ammunition or fishing gear.

"It doesn't take much. A bald eagle, if you took a standard 150 grain bullet, there's enough lead in one bullet to kill 10 bald eagles," said Van Doninck.

"There's certainly been eagles with lead poisoning brought in from Prince Edward Island. I know the vet college has had them."

Ammunition and tackle exchange

Van Doninck will be giving a presentation in Charlottetown Tuesday to raise awareness of the issue.

She will also talk about her ammunition and fishing tackle exchange program. Van Doninck visits communities across Atlantic Canada to offer an exchange of lead-free fishing tackle for old tackle.

Dr. Helene Van Doninck treats a bald eagle at the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. (Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre)

"Any community anywhere in P.E.I. that wants me to make arrangements for me to come over and do a tackle exchange in their community I can," she said.

"Our hope is the next time they go shopping for either ammo or tackle, they will look for non-lead options, and if the retailer doesn't have it then they should be asking why."

Van Doninck also offers an ammunition exchange in Nova Scotia.

Von Doninck is the featured speaker at Nature PEI's November meeting Tuesday night, at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown at 7:30.

She will be offering a tackle exchange at the meeting.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story said the meeting would be held at the Carriage House. It will, in fact, be held at the Farm Centre.
    Dec 06, 2016 10:17 AM AT

With files from Lindsay Carroll