Save New York's Mute Swans

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Save New York's Mute Swans

This petition had 31,331 supporters

Why this petition matters

Started by GooseWatch NYC


Thank you and congratulations to everyone who spoke up on behalf of New York's mute swans! Your voices have been heard! Assemblymember Cymbrowitz announced that Governor Cuomo has signed legislation to save New York's mute swans into law!

Three years ago, when the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) first announced its plan to eliminate all free living mute swans in New York by 2025, Assemblymember Cymbrowitz and Senator Avella recognized the horrifying ramifications of the proposal becoming policy and introduced legislation to demand legitimate scientific justification and stay the swans' execution.

The new law will establish a two-year moratorium on the DEC’s mute swan management plans. The law also requires the DEC to hold at least two public hearings in areas with mute swan populations. Furthermore, any management plan that the DEC puts forward must: give priority to non-lethal management techniques, fully document the scientific basis for future population projections, demonstrate that the swans have caused actual damage to the environment or to other species, and fully document the scientific basis for current and projected environmental damage.

Understanding that thousands of mute swans have needlessly been killed under similarly misguided management efforts executed in other states, and that the DEC promotes and prioritizes lethal management of wildlife in New York, advocates will continue to fight for mute swans and other wildlife to have a safe home here and will work to protect them.

We thank and commend Gov. Cuomo for listening to the voices of thousands of New Yorkers asking him to give mute swans a chance.


In December 2013, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released a Draft Management Plan which proposed the complete elimination of mute swans in New York State. The DEC later issued a revised management plan that calls for reducing the state's population of 2,200 swans to 800 - this is unacceptable!

Thousands of New Yorkers submitted public comments to the DEC in opposition to its proposals, demonstrating unequivocally that New Yorkers want mute swans to be protected by our government, not slaughtered.

The rationales provided for eliminating these magnificent creatures are flawed, and numerous experts have spoken out in criticism of the supposed basis for the DEC’s plan. We shouldn’t kill off one animal population on the misguided belief that we are helping to save another, and certainly not, at the very least, without unequivocal evidence to support such extreme and irreversible action.

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