Stop the Killing of New Jersey's Mute Swans

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NEW JERSEY VIOLATING THE MIGRATORY BIRD TREATY ACT BY KILLING MUTE SWANS AND OTHER BIRDS  UNDER A BOGUS LAW

Without Public Notice, New Jersey has set out to reduce the Mute Swan population through a systematic killing of these magnificent birds.  As in Michigan, Maryland and other states, the state and federal wildlife authorities do not want any public awareness of the killing of the Mute Swans, based upon NO SCIENTIFIC research.


In February 2014, the International Swan Symposium was held in Maryland. At this meeting, swan specialists and researchers from around the world met. Many expressed concern and even presented papers showing that the Mute Swans were Sentinel birds, not an invasive species. Sentinel means that the Mute Swans alert wetland and waterfowl biologists and researchers that something is wrong with the environment, such as the presence of high levels of heavy metals, such as copper, lead and the presence of micro-organisms that can affect other species. 


During the Symposium, Larry Hindman (Maryland DNR) and Barb Avers (Michigan DNR) presented papers and made the following statements when asked if the public was ever notified of the killing of the Mute Swans in their respective states.  Mr. Hindman’s response: “We surveyed 625 people.”  Did more of the general public ever know Hindman was asked?  Hindman’s response:  “NO, We did not do any widespread information, kept it out of the media and away from the general public, got the endorsement of Governor Ehrlich. We did it under the radar, most people did not know how or what we were doing until it was over, we went in, did what we had to do and got out. Never announced and never appeared on 6:00 news.”  Mr. Hindman was also asked if there was ever any research prior to the killing or after the killing when “The Maryland DNR reduced 60% hatchings, removed swans using lethal methods, 2 nesting pairs left at this time.  Since 2011-2013  1,683 nests destroyed, 9,403 eggs destroyed.”  Mr. Hindman’s answer was “NO”. In addition, the nitrogen levels attributed to the Mute Swans and one of the reasons for killing the birds, is still HIGH. The Mute Swan can no longer be blamed in the Chesapeake Bay for these nitrogen levels. This lack of science and Maryland’s abhorrent Mute Swan control program became the basis for killing Mute Swans nationwide.

In Michigan, according to Barb Avers, Michigan DNR, the Mute Swan program “is not financially sustainable.” 

This after many thousands of Mute Swans have been killed nationwide and at substantial cost to taxpayers, in fact in the billions of dollars and New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife and other state and federal wildlife agencies plans to continue the killing of Mute Swans with no scientific justification.

After convincing the public, the media and politicians using misinformation regarding Mute Swans being invasive, non-native, and aggressive, and destroying the habitat with high nitrogen levels, the Mute Swan killings began in the late 80’s and continues today.

 However, according to a non-partisan study conducted by Hudsonia in 2017, the study found that Mute Swans were no more detrimental to other wildlife or the habitat than any other waterfowl/wildlife species. According to Hudsonia, the government’s contention that Mute Swans are detrimental to the habitat, aggressive and increase exponentially is unfounded and no scientific research backs up any of these negative claims.

On April 4/17/2014, Sue Miller, a resident of New Jersey and taxpayer, contacted Mr. Ted Nichols (NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) to speak with him about the state of New Jersey’s development of a plan to slaughter Mute Swans.  Ms. Miller requested that Mr. Nichols inform her of the specifics of his plan to slaughter Mute Swans and was told that “ he is not obligated to give her any information about the State of New Jersey's proposal. ” Ms. Miller reminded him of The Freedom of Information Act, that she is a tax payer in New Jersey and believed that she was entitled to be informed. 

The authorities at the Environmental Protection Commission and The Division of Fish and Wildlife in New Jersey are following the same patterns as Maryland and Michigan by quietly collaborating with the assistance of the USDA to reduce and eventually eliminate all the Mute Swans in New Jersey. 

In lieu of New York States failed attempt by the DEC to carry out a similar program it is obvious why New Jersey does not want the public to be aware of its recent actions in killing Mute Swans throughout New Jersey. As in New York State the same arguments that New Jersey is advocating as just cause to kill the Mute Swans are at best baseless and false without being substantiated by sound scientific research. 

New Jersey is now on the front-line of killing Mute Swans.

On Thursday, October 26, 2017, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) held a Mute Swan Management Plan public hearing. During this meeting, many prominent people spoke against the DEC's plan to kill New York  Mute Swans. One of those people was NY Assemblyman Steve Englebright, Chair of Committee on Environmental Conservation and also a supporter of the DEC in the past. He expressed on record his deep dissatisfaction with the actions of the DEC and their Mute Swan Management Plan. 

However, it was Regal Swan Foundation that provided the legal bombshell that the Reform Act of 2004 to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, was entered into Congress inappropriately, and was never ratified by President Bush. Therefore, it is null and void. Therefore, any and all acts perpetrated against Mute Swans (and other birds covered by this Reform Act) are in violation of international law. 

Hundreds of thousands of Mute Swans  have been slaughtered throughout the United States, including New Jersey because they were removed from the Migratory  Bird Act in 2004. With this new information, we want congress and our state legislators to place an immediate moratorium on all Mute Swan killings and to investigate the illegal way the Migratory Bird Treaty Reform Act of 2004 was pushed through Congress and also hold the New Jersey DFW, US Fish and Wildlife, USDA, and anyone else who has killed Mute Swans in New Jersey accountable for violating the original Treaty.

THIS BOGUS TREATY REFORM ACT  IMPACTS ALL MUTE SWANS AND OTHER BIRDS IN  EVERY STATE!  PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SENATORS AND CONGRESSMEN AND ASK THEM TO STOP  THIS OUTRAGEOUS HOAX THAT IS COSTING TAXPAYERS BILLIONS AND KILLING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF BIRDS ILLEGALLY.

Please call, write and email the following New Jersey State Officials to express your concern over the killing of the Mute Swans. Tell them you want this to stop immediately.

PEOPLE IN OTHER COUNTRIES CAN HELP US BY SIGNING AND SHARING THIS PETITION AND LETTING THE WORLD KNOW THAT THE UNITED STATES IS SLAUGHTERING MUTE SWANS AND OTHER  BIRDS THROUGH A REFORMED TREATY THAT NEVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN REFORMED IN THE FIRST PLACE.  

 N.J.Gov Phil Murphy

phil.murphy@gov.state.nj.us

Tel 609 292 6000



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