Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting

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Letters to the Editor and Others

Comments to US Fish and Wildlife Service on Canada Goose Management

Chief, Division of Migratory Bird Management
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Department of the Interior
4401 North Fairfax Dr.
MBSP–4107
Arlington, VA 22203

 

September 29, 2003

 

To Whom It May Concern:

 

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. 

 

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.

 

Sincerely,

 

Joe Miele

 

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