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July 14, 2010

The HSUS Urges Halt to Goose Slaughter

New York should halt its program to kill resident Canada geese

The Humane Society of the United States calls on New York officials to immediately halt its program to kill resident Canada geese and work instead on a plan that will truly protect public safety and clears the geese from certain areas.

News outlets have reported that many New Yorkers are also distressed about the city's contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which resulted in the recent killing of 400 resident Canada geese in Brooklyn's Prospect Park and includes plans to round up more geese this week.

"This inhumane, ineffective and costly contract is the wrong way to address the goose population," said Patrick Kwan, New York state director for The HSUS.

Scientists at the Smithsonian Institute have examined feather remains from the 2009 US Airways Flight 1549 bird strike and determined that the Canada geese involved were from a migrating population, not the local resident populations targeted by these roundups.

Many of the geese now being killed would never have been hatched if the city had adopted The HSUS' recommendations in 2009 to implement a comprehensive program to render goose eggs unviable, along with other effective tactics. Communities across the country have had tremendous success with such programs that include treating eggs so they don't hatch, modifying habitats so they don't attract geese, and using trained dogs to make geese fly elsewhere. A comprehensive, transparent and publicly supported management plan which includes these components is sorely needed to address the goose issue.

The HSUS offers extensive resources for developing programs to humanely reduce conflicts with geese and other wild animals.

Facts

  • Airport safety programs can keep the flying public safe and can be humane. The best programs use long-term strategies to permanently reduce the conditions that attract geese to airports.
  • Killing geese merely opens habitat for other geese to fill. The answer is to treat the problem at the source—make airports and surrounding areas undesirable habitat to the birds while preventing flock growth with egg addling programs.
  • Federal law protects Canada geese; however, that only means that people cannot harm birds without US Fish and Wildlife Service permission.

 

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

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