601 FW 8
Use of Non-Lead Ammunition for Management and Research Activities on Refuges

New

Date: October 3, 2016

Series: Refuge Management

Part 601: National Wildlife Refuge

System

Originating Office: Division of Natural Resources and Conservation Planning

PDF Version


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Topics

Sections

Overview

8.1 What is the purpose of this chapter?

8.2 What is the scope of the chapter?

Policy

8.3 What is the Service’s policy?

Exceptions

8.4 Are there any exceptions to the policy?

 

OVERVIEW

 

8.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter eliminates, to the maximum extent practical, the use of lead ammunition for wildlife management and wildlife collection activities on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) lands and waters.

 

8.2 What is the scope of the chapter?

 

A. This chapter applies to:

 

(1) All lethal wildlife control activities for management and collection of specimens for study or research on NWRS lands and waters,

 

(2) Dispatch of feral or trespass animals when their lethal removal is authorized, and

 

(3) Dispatch of injured animals, when necessary.   

 

B. This chapter applies to the activities in section 8.2A, regardless of whether they are carried out by Service employees; U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) employees; or employees of other Federal agencies, State agencies, universities, or private contractors working on NWRS lands and waters. 

 

C. NWRS lands and waters include any designated area of land, water, or an interest in land or water within the NWRS, excluding coordination areas.

 

D. This chapter does not apply to:

 

(1) Public hunting on refuges, or

 

(2) The taking of free-ranging, dangerous animals, whether planned or unplanned, for the protection of human safety (e.g., Alaska’s bear safety program) or in any emergency situation where an animal poses an immediate threat to human safety or the welfare of wildlife.

 

POLICY

8.3 What is the Service’s policy?

 

A. Use only non-lead ammunition (i.e., shot, slugs, bullets) for lethal control of wildlife for management purposes (e.g., feral swine, beaver, and deer).

 

B. Use only non-lead ammunition when collecting wildlife specimens for research and study purposes.

 

C. To the extent practical, use non-lead ammunition for dispatching:

 

(1) Feral or trespass animals when their lethal removal is authorized, and

 

(2) Injured animals, as necessary.  

 

EXCEPTIONS

 

8.4 Are there any exceptions to the policy? Yes. Following are the exceptions to this policy:

 

A. Research: We may allow the use of lead in research projects that we have specifically authorized to study the effects of lead.

 

B. Animal Welfare: We allow the use of lead to dispatch injured wildlife when a delay would result in prolonged, unrelieved pain and suffering of the animal.

 

C. Human Safety: We allow the use of lead to take wildlife when alternatives or delays would compromise the safety of an employee, cooperator, contractor, volunteer, or the general public (e.g., dispatching a free-ranging bear in an inhabited area).

 

D. Special Circumstances: The Director may approve the use of lead ammunition for wildlife management purposes when non-lead ammunition is unavailable or not practical for the specific circumstance. 

 

For more information about this policy, contact the Division of Natural Resources and Conservation Planning. For more information about this Web site, contact Krista Bibb in the Division of Policy, Performance, and Management Programs.

 

 

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