Petition Closed
Petitioning Ocean County NJ Board of Chosen Freeholders via GooseWatch NJ

Stop Killing Your Geese – Freeze Tax-Funded USDA Contract, Don't Renew


1,022
Supporters

Update from 7/3/12 Ocean County Freeholders Meeting:

Freeholder Bartlett announced the USDA has stated the goose populations are down to a level where they will not need to and will not kill any more geese in the spring. Bartlett said the methods the county had been using had worked. Those, of course, include USDA roundups and slaughter. 

He said the county would look into the non-lethal methods that we presented again today in our meeting with the Parks & Recreation Department prior to today's freeholders meeting. 

Bartlett said in future the county would continue to use methods it feels best to use.

 He also said that in the last 11 years, the county had addled [at their taxpayers' expense] 1,309 eggs. We will continue to urge the freeholders to implement volunteer egg addling, relieving the taxpayer and hopefully increasing the number of eggs addled each year.

We know that Ocean County can unfreeze this contract at any moment, and, of course, can always make new contracts. 

We really appreciate everyone's dedication to the geese. We are making a difference.

It seems like we got some good news, but we must remember, despite media reports, no statement was made guaranteeing killings in 2012 have ended.

We hope our efforts, including the updated petition (below and click "Petition Letter" tab above), its signers, and its spreaders, helped influence this decision.

About this Petition -- [Updated]

We continue to work to ensure Ocean County does not unfreeze its current contract with the USDA to use lethal methods for managing geese. We also continue to work to ensure they don't make new contracts.

The USDA's lethal methods, unjustified and unapologetically cruel, are also laughably ineffective and not-so-laughingly costly to goose, taxpayer, and County alike.

For tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars, the USDA grants geese gassing deaths that can see them writhing in agony for 40 minutes – deaths that take longer than it takes for new geese to swoop in and take over their homestead, deaths that take with them more.

Money-wise –  Since 2008, the County has given USDA, APHIS and Wildlife Services more than $60,000 to gas our geese. One 2012 contract takes $22,317 out of taxpayers' pockets. 

And for what?

Bound & Strangled

This: the method the USDA uses more than any other. The USDA Wildlife Services (WS) rounds up the geese when they have no chance to escape.

Long flights put strain on their feathers, and each June and July, their molting season, adult geese have to molt out the old, worn feathers and grow new ones. So—they can’t fly. And their goslings: too young to.

Sitting geese.

After binding their feet with plastic zip-ties, the WS uses carbon dioxide, their standard gas, to suffocate them.

An especially cruel death, carbon dioxide asphyxiation slowly strangles geese anguishing as they struggle to breathe.

This gassing method is particularly inhumane because geese have the capability to hold their breath for long periods, like when diving for food. So, they suffer longer than most animals exposed to this method of oxygen deprivation.

They suffer, in part, due to misled citizens misled to feed greed. They suffer while several readily-available non- lethal, more effective, and cost-effective methods exist (For quick info on some, just see the links below)

Last year, Ocean County and the WS killed at least 178 geese in County parks.

Their Federal Fish and Wildlife permit can be unfrozen, and can also be renewed in future. 

In 2008, they killed 488 geese and their goslings.

Flawed & Costly

Some believe geese are a health hazard and say kill. Some better-versed say otherwise. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), for one, states, “Scientific studies do not show that goose droppings pose any special health threats. Obviously, people want to avoid contact with any animal droppings. Ordinary good hygiene, such as washing hands and leaving shoes at the door, are adequate prevention if you accidentally contact animal droppings.”

Like the HSUS, the CDC says geese droppings pose no special health risks. If you come in contact with a dropping, they recommend you do the same thing you do every time you eat, what we’ve all been taught – what we all know: wash your hands.

Gassing geese isn’t prevention. It’s shortsighted and ineffective, a square peg in a round hole that costs the taxpayers the money they’ve worked to earn, and the positive PR the County’s chosen to actively snuff out.

The Chicken & The Egg

County Freeholder John Bartlett: “We spend millions of dollars to build and maintain parks. We aren’t going to spend millions of dollars for an invasive species. They weren’t here 20 years ago.”

Similarly, Mr. Bartlett and our fellow Man – and those parks – haven’t always been here. So, per his logic, we all get the gas, too.

And, ironically, to remove the geese, Mr. Bartlett is more than willing to spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars – thousands and thousands more than it would cost for a non-lethal method that is actually a long-term solution.

Wrong & Rightable

Gassing cats and dogs in NJ: illegal.

Gassing wildlife: perfectly legal.

Hardly conscionable. Perfectly changeable.

So, change it.

Whether it’s funded with taxpayer money, private, or otherwise, there’s no place for it – now, in future—ever.

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Humane Solutions

Geesebusters | Naturesweep | GeesePeace | Native Return and FlightTurf | Canada Geese New Jersey | Wild Neighbors : The Human Society of the United States | Canada Geese Tips : The Humane Society of the United States | Human-Wildlife Conflict Prevention : Animal Alliance of Canada 

 

Letter to
Ocean County NJ Board of Chosen Freeholders via GooseWatch NJ
Update from 7/3/12 Ocean County Freeholders Meeting:

Freeholder Bartlett announced the USDA has stated the goose populations are down to a level where they will not need to and will not kill any more geese in the spring. Bartlett said the methods the county had been using had worked.

Those, of course, include USDA roundups and slaughter.

He said the county would look into the non-lethal methods that we presented again today in our meeting with the Parks & Recreation Department prior to today's freeholders meeting.

Bartlett said in future the county would continue to use methods it feels best to use.

He also said that in the last 11 years, the county had addled [at their taxpayers' expense] 1,309 eggs. We will continue to urge the freeholders to implement volunteer egg addling, relieving the taxpayer and hopefully increasing the number of eggs addled each year.

We know that Ocean County can unfreeze this contract at any moment, and, of course, can always make new contracts.

We really appreciate everyone's dedication to the geese. We are making a difference.

It seems like we got some good news, but we must remember, despite media reports, no statement was made guaranteeing killings in 2012 have ended.

We hope our efforts, including the updated petition (below and "About this Petition" tab above), its signers, and its spreaders, helped influence this decision.

Please sign and show your support.

At this moment, as the County has just made this announcement, we are not having this letter sent to the government officials we had selected. However, your signature, and any others you help secure, speak volumes. And save.

Thank you. Through and through.

The original petition letter:

Stop Killing Ocean Co. Geese – Freeze Tax-Funded USDA Contract, Don't Renew

Thank you for your time.

Ocean County’s contract with the USDA to kill geese is a kneejerk response ineffective and costly to County taxpayers and County image, and one lethal method being taken despite the fact the County hasn’t tried all of the available non-lethal methods, and Mr. Bartlett’s statements to the contrary at the May 16, 2012 Freeholder Meeting. 




Per the contract, the County and the USDA will take tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars, a princely fee for a plan that won’t remove the geese for the long term, let alone a respectable short term. 




(The same plan in the form of a cooperative agreement between the USDA, APHIS, Wildlife Services and the County in 2010 alone cost County taxpayers $21,227.)




In areas where the USDA has lethally removed geese, other geese quickly move in within a few months, or, just a few weeks, a turnaround especially insulting given how slowly these birds are killed.




Some writhe for 40 minutes before dying.




Deaths that take longer than it takes for new geese to take their place. 


And that’s after the USDA corrals them – and their young – into small pens, binds together their feet with plastic zip-ties, and shoves them into mobile gas chambers.




An especially cruel death, carbon dioxide asphyxiation slowly strangles geese anguishing as they struggle to breathe. This, the method the USDA uses more than any other when killing geese, is particularly inhumane because geese have the capability to hold their breath for long periods, like when diving for food. So, they suffer longer than most animals exposed to this method of oxygen deprivation. 




They suffer, in part, due to misled citizens misled to feed greed. They suffer while several readily-available non- lethal, more effective, and cost-effective methods exist (For quick info on some, visit the websites below).




Last year, Ocean County and the WS suffocated at least 178 geese in County parks. Per their Federal Fish and Wildlife permit, they can kill 322 more – the permit green-lights 500 asphyxiations. It expires July 31, 2012. 




That’s if it isn’t renewed.




In 2008, they killed 488.




That any animal has been put through this, or any other death, makes no sense of any kind. That several readily-available non-lethal, more effective, and cost-effective methods like, for just one example, the eagle kite method, a method Mr. Bartlett did not say the County had tried, exist and have been passed over in favor of a laughably ineffective method only effective in needlessly siphoning money from residents for needless hurt packaged as solution. 




What also must be taken into consideration is the fact that the methods Mr. Bartlett said the County had tried are only effective if, like any method of any kind, properly implemented, monitored and given due follow-through. 




What must be put to bed is a costly belief. Some believe geese are a health hazard.



Some better-versed say otherwise. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) states, “Scientific studies do not show that goose droppings pose any special health threats. Obviously, people want to avoid contact with any animal droppings.

Ordinary good hygiene, such as washing hands and leaving shoes at the door, are adequate prevention if you accidentally contact animal droppings.” 


Like the HSUS, the CDC says geese droppings pose no special health risks. If you come in contact with a dropping, they recommend you do the same thing you do every time you eat, what we’ve all been taught – what we all know: wash your hands. 




Gassing geese isn’t prevention. It’s shortsighted and ineffective, a square peg in a round hole that costs the taxpayers the money they’ve worked to earn, and the positive PR the County’s chosen to actively snuff out.




County Freeholder John Bartlett: “We spend millions of dollars to build and maintain parks. We aren’t going to spend millions of dollars for an invasive species. They weren’t here 20 years ago.”




Similarly, Mr. Bartlett and our fellow Man – and those parks – haven’t always been here. So, per his logic, we all get the gas, too.




And, ironically, to remove the geese, Mr. Bartlett is more than willing to spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars – thousands and thousands more than it would cost for a non-lethal method that is actually a long-term solution.




I’m signing to stop the killing under this contract and prevent a renewal. Whether it’s funded with taxpayer money, private, or otherwise, there’s no place for it – now, in future—ever.




In hope,




http://www.geesebusters.com;



http://www.naturesweep.com;



http://www.nativereturn.com/products.html;



http://humanesociety.org/wildneighbors;


http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/geese/tips/solving_problems_canada_geese.html#Public_health_and_Canada_geese;


http://www.geesepeace.com/;

http://www.animalalliance.ca/campaigns/human-wildlife-conflict.html;



http://www.canadageesenewjersey.com/