Animal Defenders of Westchester

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We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704

Action Alerts

Contact Westchester Food Bank re Geese 'Donations'
July 5, 2013

The USDA and local mayors, etc, are using poor and homeless people as a dumping ground for the abuse and slaughter of geese.  Please contact the Westchester Food Bank and ask them to stop accepting 'donations' of goose flesh from USDA 'culls' and private killing of geese:
As most of you are aware, almost all the geese killings done by the USDA (and some private contractors) are followed by a note saying the dead flesh is subsequently 'donated to the poor' at local food banks.  This is a deceptive, odious 'charitable' spin that, in addition to foisting toxic flesh on the 'poor,' has actually been denounced by the NYC Director of the Coalition for the Homeless, Mary Brosnahan, who states:
'"The Coalition objects, in the strongest possible terms, to the plans by officials to slaughter hundreds of New York City's Canada geese, and to the use of homeless New Yorkers to achieve that end. The plan to feed homeless people the potentially tainted carcasses of these birds through a local soup kitchen or food bank sets a dangerous double standard in which poor men, women and children will eat unregulated and insufficiently inspected flesh.
'In addition to the incalculable moral and ethical costs such needless killing entails,  there is the federal inspection and proper testing of the flesh for possible contaminants - if that was even done.  If not done, then Westchester food banks participated in a dangerous double standard in which poor men, women and children ate unregulated and insufficiently inspected flesh.' 
'Some activists have questioned the safety of the meat of the wild birds, whose diet could include vegetation treated by pesticides, but the Food Bank’s Wilcox said it was not a concern since each family only received enough for one meal. “They’re obviously not raised on a farm in a controlled environment, so there is a rather daunting label on the meat when it arrives. What it says is that you should only have a serving once a month,” she said.' (!!!) (Exclamation points mine).  Dumping flesh on the homeless that they are warned to not eat more than once a month is proof positive that the 'donations' are no more than a coverup - and a dangerous one at that.
'Wild geese travel to many different locations, are exposed to various toxins including mercury and lead, and eat grass that in public parks which is routinely sprayed with pesticides. Many chemical residues and possible PCB's can remain in the tissues of wild geese who do not come from a controlled environment. Is such meat thus safe to feed to people without proper, complete and individual testing? Goose meat donated to the food bank doesn't carry a label of source or origin. The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, which accepted the meat from 2011's roundups claimed the meat's toxicity was tested by the USDA, yet, the USDA claimed it is each state's responsibility for testing the slain geese for possible toxins.   Proper testing of geese for possible contaminants can cost up to $100.00 per bird. New York City's Canada geese often feed on park grass treated with pesticides and other chemicals. Moreover, according to bird experts, molting geese are usually "feverish" and somewhat "sickly" when they are going through the process of losing feathers and being flightless (the time in early summer when most USDA goose roundups occur). Goose hunters themselves do not eat geese killed in the summer when the birds are going through the molt. Rounded up geese have been rejected in many states across the country as possible food "donations" for poor people. Recently, these include Washington state, Virginia and Alabama.' (Source:
Please contact the following officials of the Westchester County Food Bank and politely request that they stop accepting this toxic flesh that is the result of so much needless, violent suffering.  Homeless people are being robbed of their dignity and integrity by being used as pawns in such an unhealthy, unethical game.
Executive Director Ellen Lynch                                     [email protected]
Agency Relations Manager Erica Santiago:                   
[email protected]
Director, Member Services and Nutrition, Sara Cox:     
[email protected]
Director of Operations, Toby Pidgeon:                         
[email protected]
On Facebook:
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