The Iowa House has voted to overturn a state commission’s decision that would have forbidden the use of lead shot when hunting doves in Iowa.
“The Natural Resources Commission overstepped its authority and the intention of the legislature,” said Representative Clel Baudler, a Republican from Greenfield.
Lawmakers voted last year to allow dove hunting, but the Iowa Natural Resources Commission drafted a rule that would have required the use of steel shot rather than lead shot during the dove hunting season. Representative Mary Mascher, a Democrat from Iowa City, said the commission did the research, looking at the hunting rules in other states, and did what they thought was best.
“I do not think it is in the best wisdom of this state and the people of this state for us to overturn that,” Mascher said.
Some have argued lead shot is toxic to birds and other wildlife that eat the stray bullets that wind up on the ground or in the water. Representative Anesa Kajtazovic, a Democrat from Waterloo, supports a ban on lead shot.
“Lead has been proven to be harmful. I have done much research on this,” Katazovic said. “The most surprising feedback that I’ve had from my constituents has been from those who do hunt, from hunters telling me, ‘You know, lead is not necessary.'”
Baudler said other “scientific studies” dispute the idea lead shot is a threat to wildlife.
“The intent of the legislation that we passed last year was extremely clear,” Baudler said. “…This is about policy and the administration of rules.”
AUDIO of House debate.
A senate committee has endorsed the idea of allowing lead shot during dove hunting season, so the next stop for this debate is in the full Senate.