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Hunting, Lead, Wildlife, and Human Health:

A storied past and uncertain future

Dr. Jean-Michael DeVink | Tuesday March 31, 2015 from 6:00 - 9: 00 pm - The Woods Alehouse


The human and ecological effects of lead have been studied ad nauseum.  Regulators have enacted laws and policies to reduce human exposure to lead and environmental contamination through the ban of use in gasoline, paint, and other products. Spend hunting ammunition is a well-known anthropogenic source of lead in the environment.  Widespread mortality of waterfowl associated with ingestion of lead pellets from spent ammunition was the impetus for the 1990s ban of lead and other toxic shot type us in waterfowl hunting. However, in most North American States and Provinces, the use of lead shot and ammunition is still permitted for other forms of hunting (e.g., upland game birds, big game, and varmints). Recent studies on the fate of spent shot have identified potential issues not only for wildlife exposed to the spent ammunition from these other hunting activities, but also the potential implications of human consumption of wild animals harvested using lead ammunition. In this seminar, I’ll discuss the history and current state of lead ammunition use, alternatives, what led to a 2012 law suit against the US EPA and some of the broader implications of this issue.


Dr. Jean-Michel DeVink


Jean-Michel is an environmental scientist and regional technical lead for wildlife toxicology with Stantec Consulting Ltd in Saskatoon, and a recently-appointed adjunct with the School of Environment and Sustainability. He completed his PhD at the University of Saskatchewan in 2007, subsequently worked as a wildlife biologist and regulator for provincial and federal wildlife agencies then returned to the private sector as a consultant. As an active hunter, the ecological effects of lead from hunting activities are one of his passions. 

Senior Environmental Scientist and Regional Technical Lead, Stantec Consulting Ltd; Adjunct Professor, University of Saskatchewan

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