Last summer, USDA Wildlife Services contracted with Cornwall Town Board to kill local geese. They killed approximately 139 in the area – 14 at Rings Pond in Cornwall, 70 in Cornwall-on-Hudson, an adjoining village, and 55 in another Cornwall area. Local residents and animal advocates were devastated and outraged.
As a result of pressure from animal advocates, the Town formed a “Geese Committee” to suggest non-lethal methods of geese control, yet astonishingly the Town Board recently dissolved the Committee with no explanation and no commitment to using non-lethal methods. Local residents are VERY concerned that the Town will hire the USDA to kill the geese by brutally capturing them and sending them to a slaughterhouse as they did last year! This is unacceptable!
PLEASE URGE THE BOARD NOT TO KILL THE GEESE!
Canada geese are beautiful, intelligent birds who mate for life, fiercely protect their eggs and young, and display loyalty for other members of their flock. The methods that USDA Wildlife Services uses to kill geese are controversial and widely understood to be grossly inhumane - during the hottest months of the year flightless geese and goslings are corralled, packed into turkey crates and transported to slaughterhouses or gas chambers.
Killing the geese is not effective - countless examples have demonstrated that roundups and slaughters only clear the area temporarily, as other geese eventually repopulate the vacant desirable habitat.
The unfortunate plan to slaughter geese can be avoided by making a commitment of simple steps, such as cleaning up the grass with machines that pick up goose droppings, and making landscape modifications which hamper access to the pond and prevent geese from colonizing the pond’s surrounding area.
Killing geese and other birds has proven to be an ineffective approach to preventing collisions with airplanes. “I have not seen where [culling] has been effective as a long-term solution," said Jim Hall, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board under the Clinton administration. Ron Merritt, a biologist and former Chief for the Air Force’s Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard Team agrees, adding, “Killing 1,000 geese really isn't going to do anything. If you kill them, nature will fill that vacuum and a new species will pop up in its place."
Feeding the goose meat to food pantries is not acceptable - it is a ruse designed to spin an act of needless killing into an act of charity, and doing so puts human health at risk. Meat from slaughtered geese has been delivered to food banks with a warning label from the NYS Health Department that it should not be consumed more than twice per month because it may have been exposed to environmental contaminants.
There is no scientific basis that geese dropping pose a threat to human health. Killing the geese is counter to public opinion, not how the residents of Cornwall want tax dollars spent, and a horrid example for children to whom we teach tolerance and co-existence with wildlife. Cleaning goose poop is more humane, and more effective.
PLEASE CONTACT THE TOWN BOARD IN CORNWALL AND URGE THEM TO USE NON-LETHAL METHODS OF GEESE CONTROL. DO NOT LET THE GEESE BE KILLED BY THE USDA AS THEY WERE LAST YEAR DURING MOLTING SEASON. THE BOARD HAS BEEN PRESENTED WITH NUMEROUS WAYS TO CONTROL THE POPULATION – KILLING THEM IS NOT AN OPTION!
James McGee: email@example.com
Elizabeth Longinott: firstname.lastname@example.org
Helen Bunt: email@example.com
Peter Russell: firstname.lastname@example.org
J. Kerry McGuinness: email@example.com
Cornwall Town Hall Workshop Meeting:
TUES, JUNE 3 – 7pm
Cornwall Town Hall
183 Main St
Cornwall, NY 12518
For further info, contact