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Articles Mamaroneck Goose Controversy Continues
Mamaroneck Goose Controversy Continues
Update: The Village of Mamaroneck has rescheduled tonight's presentation with the USDA due to the possibility of inclement weather. The presentation will now take place on April 1. The meeting with Dr. Garber, however, will still take place.
As the controversy around the Village of Mamaroneck’s plan to slaughter Canada Geese grows, many animal rights organizations and Westchester residents have presented alternative options to the Board of Trustees, including bird birth control, decoys and egg oiling.
Has the board considered these proposals?
According to newly elected board members Leon Potok, Ilissa Miller and Andres Bermudez Hallstrom, the village’s decision to contract with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to perform the culling was secured before their tenure.
“The decision was made without public knowledge or input prior to our taking office,” said Potok.
Potok said that he advised the board—at a March 4 work session—to cancel the U.S.D.A. contract “immediately” and consider an alternative proposal that he obtained from Dr. Steven Garber, a wildlife biologist.
The board will meet with Dr. Garber and a U.S.D.A. representative at tonight’s work session to discuss Garber’s proposal, which details a “no nesting” policy for geese; behavioral modification techniques; and scare tactics performed over a period of time to discourage geese from returning to the area.
“Prior to the public attention and outcry, as soon as the matter was raised, the current board took immediate action to identify alternative options,” said Miller.
At the public comments portion of last week’s board meeting, residents, animal activists and others implored the board to find more humane alternatives to the slaughter.
But some community members continue to be outraged.
Mamaroneck resident Gina von Eiff, who has spoken out against the decision to slaughter geese, toldPatch that emails she recently sent to village officials with the word “geese” in the subject line have bounced back, with a message citing “banned content.”
“It is being reported that Mamaroneck residents are not speaking up. Now I know why—you are censoring e-mails. That is against the law, “ said von Eiff in an email to trustees with a different subject line.
Others are questioning the validity of Mamaroneck officials’ claim that they drove geese down south, only to have them return to Mamaroneck soon thereafter.
“Questions have been raised on exactly how molting, featherless geese were 'able' to fly back to Mamaroneck from N.C., since they had to be molting when they were captured for transport, or they would have flown away and evaded capture,” said Kiley Blackman of Westchester4Geese in a press release.
As board members continue to consider alternative solutions to the overpopulation of geese in the area, the outcome is not yet clear.
“We plan to examine this issue very closely before we come to a final decision on how to proceed,” said Bermudez Hallstrom.
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