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USDA to Resolve Human/Goose Conflicts by Lethal, Violent Means in New Jersey


Wildlife Watch Inc.
Helping People, Environment, and Wildlife
PO BOX 562, NEW PALTZ, NY 12561
Voice:(845) 256-1400; Fax:(845) 622-7999
e-mail: wildwatch@earthlink.net
Contact: Joe Miele, Vice President 201-368-8271

State Director Janet Bucknall
USDA APHIS WS
140-C Locust Grove Road
Pittstown
, NJ  08867
FAX:  908.735.0821

September 21, 2003

Dear Ms. Bucknall:

Wildlife Watch, Inc. is an animal protection organization that educates the public about the mismanagement of wildlife by state and federal wildlife agencies, and the destruction of wildlife and ecosystems in the name of sport hunting and game management. 

It has come to our attention that The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (WS) Program in New Jersey has developed a Pre-Decisional Environmental Assessment (PDEA) regarding WS involvement in managing bird damage conflicts throughout the state of New Jersey.  As an organization that represents the views of over two thousand New Jersey residents, we condemn any actions taken to resolve human/goose conflicts by lethal, violent means.

The public stands in strong opposition to violence brought upon New Jersey’s wildlife.  A poll conducted by Blum & Weprin in July, 2003 reported that 75% of New Jersey registered voters desire statewide non-lethal programs and training procedures when dealing with Canada geese.  

There is no truth to the myth that Canada goose droppings are responsible for spreading disease among the public.  Dr. Timothy Ford, professor at the Harvard School of Public Health states:  "In my mind, there is no possibility that the Canada goose will ever be a major route of (Cryptosporidium) infection (in humans)."  Cryptosporidium is the bacterium that is often cited as the bridge between goose droppings and human disease.

Clearly, the citizens of Jew Jersey do not want to see geese killed in a “business as usual” manner.  They want new and innovative solutions to the occasional inconveniences that geese pose and reject the “kill ‘em all” mentality of state and government agencies. 

Non-lethal strategies for the control of Canada geese have been successful nearly everywhere they have been implemented.  Noisemakers have been used to scare off geese, flags have been hung around areas where geese are unwanted (the flags are seen as a threat by the geese), Border Collies are used to chase geese away, and non-toxic chemicals are available that when sprayed on grassy areas renders the field either visually or tastefully unattractive. 

Because each of these methods of goose control are effective and welcomed by the people of New Jersey, we urge those at Wildlife Services to break free from their pro-killing mentality and implement only non-violent and non-lethal methods of Canada goose control in New Jersey.  Dealing with wildlife humanely is an idea whose time has come.

Sincerely,

Joe Miele

Cc:    Representative E. Scott Garrett

      Senator Jon Corzine

      Senator Frank Lautenberg

      New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance

 

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