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June 29, 2012

The Humane Society of the United States Condemns Slaughter of New York City Geese

Urges more humane, effective solution

In the wake of news that the City of New York has again contracted the embattled USDA Wildlife Services to slaughter up to 400 Canada geese in city parks this week, The Humane Society of the United States calls on New York City officials to immediately halt the killings of resident Canada geese. Instead, the city should adopt a more effective and long-term solution that will truly protect public safety and will humanely manage conflicts with wildlife.

“Many of geese who are currently being rounded up and killed would have never been hatched if the city had adopted the humane goose management plan we have proposed since 2009,” said Patrick Kwan, New York state director for The HSUS. “This indiscriminate slaughter is inhumane, ineffective and not supported by science. It is the wrong way to address the goose population, especially when more humane and scientific solutions exist and have been successfully implemented in Prospect Park and Central Park.” 

Comprehensive humane goose management programs, like the one implemented in Prospect Park in 2011 with the assistance of The HSUS, are working in communities across the country where wild geese and people share public spaces. The Prospect Park Canada goose management program is making the park less attractive to geese by discouraging the public from feeding wildlife, modifying habitats, and using trained herding dogs to urge geese to move out of the park. Additional components of the program include treating eggs to prevent population growth through humane protocols, training by The HSUS, and ongoing research and monitoring to assess and refine techniques for effectiveness.

A comprehensive, transparent and publicly supported management plan which includes these components is sorely needed to address the goose issue throughout New York.

The HSUS offers extensive resources, training and expert assistance for developing programs to humanely reduce conflicts with geese and other wild animals. Learn more at www.humanesociety.org/wildneighbors.

Facts

  • A May 2012 three-part Sacramento Bee investigative report documented the inhumane and indiscriminate methods the USDA Wildlife Services employs to trap, poison, shoot, gas and otherwise kill more than half million target animals since 2006, and accidentally kill more than 50,000 non-target animals in the process from domestic dogs to golden eagles to black bears. 
  • 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.
  • 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 areas near 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.
  • For more information about humanely solving conflicts with Canada geese, visit: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/geese/tips/solving_problems_canada_geese.html

 Media Contact: Kaitlin Sanderson: 301-721-6463 (o), 240-672-8397 (c); ksanderson@humanesociety.org

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