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July 12, 2012

The HSUS Condemns Geese Slaughter in Westchester County, N.Y., Urges Humane and Effective Solution

Following last week’s slaughter of nearly 500 Canada geese from Sprain Lake Golf Course, The Humane Society of the United States is calling on Westchester County to adopt a more humane and scientific wildlife management program to resolve conflicts with geese.

In a letter to Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino, Parks Commissioner Kathleen O'Connor, and Board of Legislators, The HSUS’ New York State Director Patrick Kwan offered to work with the county to develop a long-term, non-lethal management plan to discourage geese from congregating at golf courses and other park facilities.

“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,” said Patrick Kwan, New York state director for The HSUS. “This indiscriminate slaughter of wildlife 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.”

Comprehensive humane goose management programs are currently working in communities across the country where wild geese and people share public spaces. These goose management programs are making parks, golf courses and other public spaces less attractive to geese by discouraging the public from feeding wildlife, modifying habitats, 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.

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 humanesociety.org/wildneighbors.

Facts
•    Killing geese merely opens habitat for other geese to fill. The answer is to treat the problem at the source – make public areas undesirable habitat to the birds while preventing flock growth with egg addling programs.
•    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. 
•    For more information about humanely solving conflicts with Canada geese, visit: humanesociety.org/geese_tips

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Media Contact: Kaitlin Sanderson: 301-721-6463; ksanderson@humanesociety.org

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