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A comparison of fragmenting lead-based and lead-free bullets for aerial shooting of wild pigs

Hampton, Jordan O. and Eccles, Grant and Hunt, Rob and Bengsen, Andrew J. and Perry, Andrew L. and Parker, Steve and Miller, Corissa J. and Joslyn, Steve K. and Stokke, Sigbjorn and Arnemo, Jon and Hart, Quentin (2021). A comparison of fragmenting lead-based and lead-free bullets for aerial shooting of wild pigs. PLoS ONE. 16 , e0247785
[Research article]

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Abstract

In response to the health threats posed by toxic lead to humans, scavenging wildlife and the environment, there is currently a focus on transitioning from lead-based to lead-free bullets for shooting of wild animals. We compared efficiency metrics and terminal ballistic performance for lead-based and lead-free (non-lead) bullets for aerial shooting of wild pigs (Sus scrofa) in eastern Australia. Ballistic testing revealed that lead-based and lead-free bullets achieved similar performance in precision and muzzle kinetic energy (E-0) levels (3337.2 J and 3345.7 J, respectively). An aerial shooting trial was conducted with wild pigs shot with one type of lead-based and one type of lead-free bullets under identical conditions. Observations were made from 859 shooting events (n = 430 and 429 respectively), with a sub-set of pigs examined via gross post-mortem (n = 100 and 108 respectively), and a further sub-set examined via radiography (n = 94 and 101 respectively). The mean number of bullets fired per pig killed did not differ greatly between lead-based and lead-free bullets respectively (4.09 vs 3.91), nor did the mean number of bullet wound tracts in each animal via post-mortem inspection (3.29 vs 2.98). However, radiography revealed a higher average number of fragments per animal (median >300 vs median = 55) and a broader distribution of fragments with lead-based bullets. Our results suggest that lead-based and lead-free bullets are similarly effective for aerial shooting of wild pigs, but that the bullet types behave differently, with lead-based bullets displaying a higher degree of fragmentation. These results suggest that aerial shooting may be a particularly important contributor to scavenging wildlife being exposed to lead and that investigation of lead-free bullets for this use should continue.

Authors/Creators:Hampton, Jordan O. and Eccles, Grant and Hunt, Rob and Bengsen, Andrew J. and Perry, Andrew L. and Parker, Steve and Miller, Corissa J. and Joslyn, Steve K. and Stokke, Sigbjorn and Arnemo, Jon and Hart, Quentin
Title:A comparison of fragmenting lead-based and lead-free bullets for aerial shooting of wild pigs
Series Name/Journal:PLoS ONE
Year of publishing :2021
Volume:16
Article number:e0247785
Number of Pages:15
Publisher:PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
ISSN:1932-6203
Language:English
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 405 Other Agricultural Sciences > Fish and Wildlife Management
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-111494
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-111494
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0247785
Web of Science (WoS)000629590400063
ID Code:23291
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:19 Apr 2021 10:23
Metadata Last Modified:19 Apr 2021 10:31

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