The State Assembly’s Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee defeated a California Condor protection bill that would prohibit hunters from using lead bullets to kill game whose carrion condors feast on. Assemblymember Pedro Nava introduced the Lord and Lady Ridley-Tree Bill – which would have provided complimentary, lead-free ammunition to hunters – in honor of the Santa Barbarans who donated the California Condor exhibit to the Santa Barbara Zoo. Nava said such legislation is important to human, as well as bird, health because it raises awareness about the need to eliminate lead in the environment. Scientists hoping to protect the giant vulture from extinction pleaded in favor of the bill at Tuesday’s committee meeting, but representatives of the National Rifle Association turned out to fiercely oppose it. The bill fell one vote shy of the eight needed to pass it through the committee.

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