Animal Defenders of Westchester

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

Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 15, 2013

CONTACT:
Kiley Blackman  
adow@adow.org
www.adow.org   

STATEN ISLAND MASSACRE - FEW ARE LEFT ALIVE BY HEARTLESS BOROUGH, USDA
 
Westchester County, NY  August 15, 2013   Westchester4Geese joins with GooseWatch NYC to denounce the latest victims of the rampant killing sprees conducted by the USDA against our wildlife.  Staten Island, already the butt of jokes by every late-night comedian on tv, has callously ordered the death of its beloved resident turkeys - and the slaughter-for-profit USDA Wildlife Services was only too glad to oblige.

Read:
http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/08/feds_round_up_wild_turkeys_on.html

This horrible account describes how the turkeys had  '...survived the ravages of Hurricane Sandy, but now its off to the slaughterhouse,' as the USDA jackbooted thugs arrived with food to lure the birds into large black nets. "They were picking the turkeys up by their necks and feet, and throwing them into plastic crates," described one clearly upset observer. "The birds were piled four crates high in the back of two pickup trucks, and then they just let them sit."  And what unspeakable crime had these intelligent, sentient birds and their families committed?  They pooped.  And they also walked around town.  
 
USDA Spokesperson Carol Bannerman has convenient excuses for these slaughters - but they're always lies.  She touts totally unfounded 'bacterial concerns' from feces...encourages killing birds instead of clean-up efforts while cleverly helping the borough ignore the smell of the world's largest landfill in their backyard; she claims the birds are 'aggressive' (always a fallback for wildlife plunderers) - again with zero evidence of anyone ever being injured in any way...and finally, she cites that the birds have the audacity to walk in the street and force the driving public to proceed with caution - the birds have some nerve!  Bannerman then puts the pr spin on this cruelty by saying the flesh will be 'donated to the poor' - despite the fact that by all accounts the flesh of wild turkeys is tough, gristly and largely inedible.
 
A recent FOIA request revealed that this year USDA Wildlife Services is authorized to kill 10,000 birds in NY alone, receiving millions of taxpayer dollars in total to do so; half are Canada geese...the rest are an incredible assortment of birds, including cardinals, Red-tailed Hawks, owls, ducks, sandpipers, herons and more.  USDA Wildlife Services is the target of investigations by two US Congressmen, a Fox News expose, and is being sued for human rights discrimination as well;  The NY Times calls them 'Agriculture's Misnamed Agency.'
 
USDA Wildlife Services freely lies about humane management methods, telling municipalities that  none of them work - though the fact is many are indeed working right here in NY. Bannerman recently justified a slaughter at the airport near Cornwall NY, 'to avoid bird strikes,' by citing an article that in fact placed the blame for a plane crash on an air traffic controller error.  
 
Kiley Blackman, founder of Westchester4Geese said, 'You don't kill an animal because he poops, its outrageous!   Where is our decency?  S.I.residents have to actually drive the speed limit and be careful of what's in the street?!  Be thankful you have a car - you should be driving carefully anyway.  And your car emissions are causing more damage than any turkey ever could. S.I. is letting pesticide companies needlessly spray carcenogenic 'west nile' toxins on them, and they're worried about poop? The USDA dispenses permits like they're confetti at a parade; they gave kill permits to two race tracks - why does a race track get a kill permit?   We demand this agency be held accountable for the suffering, death and destruction it is responsible for.'
 
David Karopkin, founder of GooseWatch NYC, agrees:  'Recently we were shocked at the needless USDA slaughter of geese at Jamaica Bay Wildlife 'Refuge' - and now again New Yorkers are outraged over the cruel, unwarranted slaughter of Staten Island's wild turkeys. The USDA refuses to provide an opportunity for public comments or any transparency regarding where or when they plan a slaughter. They kill for any reason they think they can get away with, motivated solely by profit; in fact, the arguments put forth for these killings, such as health concerns, have been debunked by biologists and other experts.  We stand up now for the urban wildlife we have the privilege to share this great city with, on behalf of all New Yorkers who wish to protect and co-exist with these beautiful, innocent creatures.'

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