Lead

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Rosemary
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Lead

Post by Rosemary » Sun Jul 08 2018 12:27

My husband was a quarry manager for thirty years. When he once lifted a submersible pump from one of the quarry lakes. there was a number of lead shot on the skirt of the pump, probably from illegal use of guns on the quarry. The shot would have been within the reach of the several swans that lived there.This got me thinking of the banning of lead shot for anglers. From the minute of the ban all seemed to be fine with wild birds. So did the ban really have any effect on the well being of birds or was there a cover up after the ban just to save face?
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Will Smith
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Re: Lead

Post by Will Smith » Sun Jul 08 2018 18:32

Rosemary, when you consider the amount of lead shot dispersed in or over rivers lakes and marshes during the last hundred years or so through fishing and shooting, IMO it is inconceivable that the problem (if there ever was one) could have possibly gone away, the lead shot won't have done ! Maybe in another hundred years we could start to see some improvement once it has all been gobbled up.
I do not recall ever seeing any proof that lead shot actually killed wildfowl, although you cannot argue with the logic that if they were to ingest lead shot and it remains in there gizzard for a long period of time it could have an effect on their health.

Will.

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Re: Lead

Post by Kev Berry » Sun Jul 08 2018 23:36

The lead poisoning the swans were dying from came mainly from the petrol the boats used. The exhaust was under water, the lead in it settled on weeds that swan ate and in the silt.
Des Taylor in more recent times proved that the lead poisoning in swans on one of his stretches of river were not caused by anglers still using illegal lead shot but from the nearby bridge , whose iron footings were encased in lead
Some one in the shooting fraternity did several tests---a tray of wheat and other stuff was put out with a certain number of shot mixed in. Yep all the seed was eaten by swans dusks geese etc----ALL the shot was still in the trays.
Angling was used as a scapegoat---cant go upsetting the boaters can we.

Oh, and all those swans found to have lead shot in their gizzards when x rayed---I will let you ponder how they got there (a subtle clue is they were always found by the rspca or some other anti angling group)

Strange how swans suddenly started dying from lead shot poisoning after all its only been used for about 150 years---and then there was the lead shot from guns, what they blast out puts anglers losses to shame

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Re: Lead

Post by Mike J » Mon Jul 09 2018 08:39

My firsthand experience.
In 1985 took a dead mute swan to the RSPB headquarters at Sandy. The swan had been dead for 6 days and was decomposing.
Myself and the lead scientist removed the gizzard from the bird, the smell was such that it caused the scientist to be sick.
The entire contents of the gizzard were washed, spread in a glass tray and examined under a low power microscope.
Within the grit were a number of misshapen pieces of lead which I was told was anglers split shot, a statement I refused to accept.
Next I removed each piece of lead and watched as the scientist carefully opened the splits in several of the pieces!
No futher tests/examinations were undertaken so the precise cause of death was never conclusively established.

In 1994 I collect 28 Canada Geese from a single location, the bodies were sent for post-mortem examination. Results showed all the birds had very high concentrations of lead in their bodies. Extensive investigations never uncovered the scource of the lead 'poisoning'.

I have collected several dozen swans that have been injured by shooters, all have been treated by Veterinarians, the vast majority later died.

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Rosemary
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Re: Lead

Post by Rosemary » Wed Jul 11 2018 11:50

Thanks for replies. I have fished for many years, probably all of my fishing has been at a depth of 4ft or more so I guess would be out of reach of ducks,swans and geese. I never heard of diving birds or Canada geese suffering from lead poisoning. Perhaps they are not as pretty as swans and so would not provoke the same public outrage... Rose.
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