State Director Janet
USDA APHIS WS
140-C Locust Grove Road
Pittstown, NJ 08867
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.
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.
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.
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.