Westchester 4 GeesePress Releases
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.



July 4, 2014

Kiley Blackman

Local Politicians Join Outcry against Annual Slaughter of Geese and Swans; Families and Babies in Peril as USDA 'Cull' trucks approach NY

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY -As the annual USDA/Wildlife Services slaughter of geese in NYS commences this month, the demand by the public to stop them increases. The horrific killings of these birds, who are grabbed by their necks and shoved into crates along with their babies, then gassed to death, has caused such an uproar that two NY advocacy groups emerged specifically as a result of this atrocity, Westchester4Geese and Goosewatch NYC.Now, several area politicians have spoken out strongly against these policies, committed to using humane methods and even introduced legislation which would suspend slaughters as well as mandating the decision-making ability of the public in these activities, most of which are funded by taxpayer dollars.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has repeatedly worked to develop and encourage methods that help avoid slaughtering geese. Under his leadership and direction, the Parks Department discovered and successfully implemented use of a non-lethal device called the Goosinator which is being used at local golf courses; they have held several meetings with animal advocates and were speakers at a 'Living with Wildlife' seminar, discussing the use of humane methods. In addition they have always been responsive and respectful on the subject of wildlife in this county; for these reasons Westchester4Geese endorsed the CE for reelection here.

Senator George Latimer, another compassionate representative who has created legislation that would prohibit the use of exotic and wild animals in circuses and shows, has just introduced legislation that mandates public notifications and meetings before any slaughters ('culls') of geese or turkeys occur, addressing the sudden and secretive way these slaughters are currently conducted. It is truly a 'democracy in action' bill, which gives the public the right to have a say in how their tax dollars are spent.

Congressman Eliot Engel previously penned a letter of complaint to the USDA/WS expressing concerns about their extreme kill-first polices; on June 24, 2014 he sent a letter expressing his concern about these agencies to the Agriculture Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, which said in part: "I believe the duty to inhibit overpopulation of animal species must be balanced with a responsibility to avoid unnecessary suffering on the part of the animals. As a member of the House Animal Protection Caucus I believe it is critical that the USDA deem animal welfare a more central priority. I believe the objective of reducing overpopulation can be met while still preventing the deaths of innocent creatures."

In NYC, Senator Tony Avella has just introduced legislation against the proposed annihilation of mute swans in NYS, which awaits Gov. Cuomo's signature. Avella has additionally been outspoken against the carriage horse industry and the geese slaughters. Avella's bill will also require the DEC to demonstrate that actual damage to the environment or other species has been caused by the mute swan population across the state since the DEC deemed them an 'invasive species,' a questionable term conveniently used to justify the massive profit made by the DEC and USDA/WS from these slaughters. Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would support looking into alternatives to slaughter during his campaign; other politicians in support of alternatives include Public Advocate Letitia James, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and NYC council members Carlos Menchaca, Helen Rosenthal and Alan Maisel.

Kiley Blackman, founder of Westchester4Geese said, "We worked directly with Reps. Engel and Latimer to create those documents because the public is fed up with the actions of the USDA/WS. The effort against the proposed swan slaughter alone got almost 100,000 emails and signatures; WS claims they are 'accountable to the public' - when the fact is even congressmen have to get court orders to get them to disclose records.We are proud of these officials who have consideration for those who have no voice; with their help we will make these agencies truly accountable - and continue to demand they stop killing our wildlife."

David Karopkin, founder of GooseWatch NYC, has gathered experts in the field of aviation who provide sound evidence that slaughter of geese and other wildlife is wasteful and ineffective. States Karopkin, 'If areas in Westchester can resolve their conflicts with Canada geese without slaughtering them, then surely New York City, 'the greatest city in the world' can manage to humanely resolve our issues with wildlife so we can share the world with them and end the killing.'


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