Chief, Division of
Migratory Bird Management
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Department of the Interior
4401 North Fairfax Dr.
Arlington, VA 22203
September 29, 2003
To Whom It May
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
On behalf of our more
than 100,000 members and supporters in the United States, Wildlife Watch
urges the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to use only non-violent
solutions when dealing with Canada geese.
The USFWS plan to
assign responsibility for managing "resident" Canada geese to state
wildlife agencies, and thereby ensure the murder of as many as 4.8 million
to 8.52 million geese – killing an estimated one-third of the current
goose population in the United States over the next ten years, is a plan
that should be sent back to the drawing board. When the habits and
biology of Canada geese are studied, one can see that there is simply no
reason why geese need to be killed when they pose virtually no risk to
human health. 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."
Cryptosporidium is the bacterium most often cited as the link between
geese and human disease. Nationally known public health officials like
Doctor Ford recognize that goose droppings pose very little threat to
children or anyone else.
The USFWS should use
one or more of the many humane goose control methods and techniques that
have been implemented across the country which have been shown to be
efficacious in solving human/goose conflicts. Humane solutions include
but are not limited to: noisemakers that to scare off geese; hanging green
flags to scare geese; using border collies to chase geese, habitat
modification to dissuade geese from residing in a given area; the use of
non-toxic chemicals that when sprayed on grass renders the fields either
visually or tastefully unattractive, thereby forcing the geese to fly off
to more friendly surroundings.
Because each of these
methods have met with success on more than one occasion, we urge the USFWS
to use these and other humane methods of goose control in lieu of any
killing programs it may be considering. Killing geese has shown to have
little or no long-term effect on the population of resident Canada geese,
and aside from being cruel and barbaric, eradication programs are a proven
waste of public tax dollars and USFWS resources.
On behalf of our
nation-wide membership, we urge the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service to use only humane, non-violent methods of Canada
goose control. If we can be of service to you in any way, please do not
hesitate to contact us at your convenience. Your response to our concerns
will be greatly appreciated.