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The HSUS Urges Saranac Lake School Board to Abandon Plan to Kill Geese at High School

SARANAC LAKE, NY (June 22, 2011) - As the Saranac Lake Central School District Board of Education holds a meeting this morning to revisit its decision to kill geese and goslings near the Saranac Lake High School's athletic fields, The Humane Society of the United States joins local residents in calling for more effective and humane solutions to resolve conflicts with geese.

In a letter to the Saranac Lake school board members, The HSUS' New York State Director Patrick Kwan offered to work with the school district to develop a long-term, non-lethal management plan to discourage geese from living on school grounds. The full text of the letter is below.

June 21, 2011

Dear Board Members,

On behalf The Humane Society of the United States and our more than 800,000 supporters in New York, including many in the Saranac Lake area, I thank you for revisiting the school board's decision to round up and kill geese and goslings near the athletic fields of Saranac Lake High School. I greatly hope you will take this opportunity to abandon the geese killing plan and consider again our offer to assist the school district in designing a more humane and effective goose management program.   

Conflicts with wildlife can be effectively resolved using humane, long-term and noncontroversial solutions, and should not result in a death sentence for the animals. Nuisance problems involving Canada geese in particular can be managed using nonlethal techniques such as habitat modification, aversive conditioning, and humanely preventing population growth. Communities across the country have had great success with these efforts in comprehensive programs.

The HSUS is aware of some of the nonlethal efforts that the Saranac Lake school district has tried to resolve the geese issue at the athletic field, and I hope you will review our goose management guide which covers more effective and humane techniques and the proper use of dogs. For example, it's important to use trained dogs - rather than pet dogs - that will chase geese not only off the grass, but also away from water. If the geese are not chased when they are in the water, the use of dogs is counterproductive as it only teaches the geese that they are safe in the area. The guide also explains why stationary decoys, scarecrows, and other techniques used by the Saranac Lake school district are not effective. Our guide can be found online at http://bit.ly/gooseguide

A killing program merely opens up the habitat for other geese to fill and The HSUS would be happy to lend our support and expertise to implement a truly effective goose management program at Saranac Lake High School.

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you. Please do not hesitate to contact me any time.


Patrick Kwan, New York State Director
The Humane Society of the United States
200 W.57th Street, Suite 705, New York, NY 10019
Mobile: (917) 331-7187 /  Email: pkwan@humanesociety.org


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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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