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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.

Advocates to demonstrate advances in safety, wildlife management at airport meeting


January 25, 2017

Kiley Blackman
[email protected]

Advisory Board urged to follow FAA guidelines allowing open bidding, reject costly, antiquated Wildlife Services

Westchester County, NY January 25, 2017 Members of several organizations will appear before the Westchester County airport Advisory Board meeting on Jan. 25, 2017 at 7 PM, to request open bidding for wildlife management jobs, as the current contract with Wildlife Services (WS) ends shortly. Various methods will be demonstrated, to modernize wildlife management as well as providing considerable savings to taxpayers. Recent FOIA results show WS charged Westchester airport almost half a million dollars for three years - a massive taxpayer expense, especially as superior technological upgrades are far less costly.

Licensed drone operator Taffy Williams will demonstrate the use of drones, which is recommended by Capt. Chesly Sullenberger, in conjunction with avian radar. Williams, a wildlife rehabilitator and director of NY4Whales/NY4Wildlife, is currently conducting a deer count via drone in the Village of Mamaroneck. 'Birds have the right to be in the sky and we have to learn how to coexist and share air space. They are amazingly intelligent with built-in knowledge of mathematics and astronomy.

It is unthinkable to condone and implement widespread slaughter of wildlife, in this case birds, when other methods to protect aircraft are available and more effective. We are also knowledgeable about their flight patterns and should use that knowledge. Wildlife Services should not be given preferential treatment in contracting with any issue involving wildlife; their only method is the cull.' Indeed, with the DEC Advisory Board staffed solely by hunters, by operation of law, a lethal outcome for wildlife is guaranteed; this is akin to putting a group of morticians in charge of the AMA.

The Geesebusters mechanical predator system is being used with great success in several venues including Westchester and Long Island; TIME Magazine says 'Instinctive primal fears kick in when birds see the Geesebusters predator.' A similar method is cited as resulting in 'plummeting bird strikes' in Vancouver, according to the Vancouver Sun. Read Bird strikes plummet at Vancouver airport.

Kiley Blackman, founder of Animal Defenders of Westchester, says, "The FAA specifically requires open bidding for wildlife mgmt at airports; this is not being done - instead these lucrative jobs are funneled to WS, at considerable cost to taxpayers. The methods demonstrated here are far less costly - and are in fact recommended by 'Miracle-on-the-Hudson' Capt Sullenberger himself: Sullenberger cites avian radar and drones, as used to great success elsewhere, according to an article published in National Geographic. Read  Bloody Skies: The Fight to Reduce Deadly Bird-Plane Collisions.

"The NTSB issued several recommendations after Flight 1549 crashed in the Hudson River; none have been implemented.

Read Safety Recommendations Unfulfilled 7 Years After Flight 1549 Landed In Hudson River.

More culls were implemented - but that was not one of the safety recommendations. The USDA's Wildlife Services, which carry out the killings, basically operates like for-profit wildlife mercenaries, even though we pay for them through federal tax money. They contract with local municipalities (so we pay them with our local tax money as well), agencies and organizations conduct these highly ineffective and unethical killings all across the country, with little to no oversight, and even less scientific basis for what they do. So of course the USDA doesn't recommend a more proactive and effective approach to reduce the number of bird strikes - that would cut into their business. Something is terribly wrong when we use advancements in technology in all areas of life - except airport safety."

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