From Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW)

We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Airport's bird control plans are costly, cruel, wildlife activist says

Letter as published on Lohud.com
December 5, 2016

Re: "Table Westchester County Airport privatization, seek bids," Nov. 27 editorial

We agree that an open bidding process is needed regarding any leasing plans for the Westchester airport. Open bidding should also be utilized for its “wildlife management” jobs, as the FAA mandates; instead, these lucrative contracts are gifted to USDA Wildlife Services.

We also expect the upgrades this airport promised, such as avian radar and drones, which are more effective and nonlethal — as favored by famed Capt. Chesley Sullenberger. These are far less costly to taxpayers as opposed to Wildlife Services’ antiquated, cruel method of slaughter and firecrackers.

Board member Camillo Santomero says the airport needs to keep up with advances in flight technology, to make aircraft quieter and more environmentally friendly; the same goes for safety and efficiency.

A FOIL request seeking what WS charges for airport wildlife management revealed an eye-popping amount of taxpayer dollars paid — over half a million dollars for the last three years! The purchase of radar and drones would cost a fraction of that, and be a one-time purchase. Even private contractors such as Predator Defense and Geesebusters would charge far less, and be humane as well.

We are sick and tired of government agencies stomping on our rights as taxpayers concerning wildlife and of the state Department of Environmental Conservation and USDA Wildlife Services using our tax dollars to kill animals — citing inaccurate, biased, outdated information. We call their policy of banning non-hunters from their advisory board unconstitutional.

The war on wildlife must stop. We want accountability and transparency from our airport and the DEC now.

Kiley Blackman
The writer is founder of Animal Defenders of Westchester.

Return to: Letters
Read more at Geese