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You’re probably aware of the dangers posed by lead and why it’s so dangerous for man and nature. It causes irreparable damage in our kids and in the ecosystem and has a way of coming back from the dead to pose all kinds of problems.

In a previous article, we already spoke about Dr. Helene Van Doninck and her concern over a research she conducted to show that fishing and hunting were introducing lead into the environment and causing tremendous irreparable damage. Turns out, Van Doninck is now backing her research with some qualitative action through an innovative tackle exchange program that hopes to raise awareness about lead poisoning, introduce people to the concept of lead substitutes and reduce the impact of lead on the environment.

To counter this problem, the Co-Founder of Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, Dr. Helene Van Doninck, is urging hunters and fishers in PEI to switch over to lead free ammunition and tackles and lead substitutes. According to the good doctor, scavengers, seabirds and bald eagles are all dying from eating animal carcasses that have been shot using lead bullets or caught using fishing gear that contains lead. Says Van Doninck, “if you took a standard 150 grain bullet, there’s enough lead in one bullet to kill 10 bald eagles.” It really doesn’t take much, does it!

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Van Doninck recently gave a presentation in Charlottetown to raise awareness of how lead is poisoning nature and how simple things like using lead substitutes could do wonders for the environment. She says that there are a number of bald eagles suffering from lead poisoning that have been brought in from Prince Edward Island. In her presentation, she talks about the tackle exchange program which is being offered to communities across Atlantic Canada. This program exchanges old leaded tackles with lead substitutes in a bid to save the environment as far as possible.

Upon being contacted by interested candidates, Van Doninck makes arrangements to do a tackle exchange program in the community with the hope that the next time people from that community go to buy tackle or ammunition, they go for lead substitutes, and look for other retailers if their retailer doesn’t have them.

This program is also offered in Nova Scotia.

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