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


Village's solution to geese is murder en masse

Letter to the Editor,
March 24, 2013

The Issue

The Village of Mamaroneck has signed an $8,700 contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to round up and kill the geese population during the summer, saying the birds’ droppings pose an environmental hazard. According to the plan, the geese would be captured during their molting period — when they shed their wing feathers and can’t fly — and their nests treated with corn oil to prevent eggs from hatching. The planned slaughter has sparked outrage far and wide.

Members of Westchester4Geese have joined with other advocacy groups and independent residents to urge the Village of Mamaroneck to terminate its contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a massive slaughter of their geese residents.

We believe Mamaroneck can do better. We have submitted our own proposal, suggesting Geesebusters as the least expensive of all options. It provides a guarantee and will never kill or harm any geese or their babies. Geesebusters, which uses a decoy predator, will solve any bird problem “humanely, effectively, with far less cost ... than any wasteful and harmful method used by the USDA and similar businesses whose bottom-line is just killing geese,” states Robert Guadagna, Geesebusters’ owner and proprietor.

His plan also includes provisions for free birth control and application of grape-based repellent on the grass. Communities across the country are learning to live successfully with their wildlife, though some discuss killing them before looking at creative, intelligent ways of peaceful, nonlethal co-existence. I believe it is our duty to be decent citizens who are stewards of wildlife, not their enemies. What kind of lesson are we teaching our children?

Government officials should not spend taxpayers’ hard-earned money on killing animals.

We cringe at stories of cruelty to animals — a kitten burned to death in an oven, puppies being drowned. We are even horrified upon hearing of larger animals such as horses deliberately being starved to death. And the press would eagerly report on the horrific act of some criminal stomping a mama goose and her baby to death. Yet, without hesitation we make plans to slaughter them en masse because they poop just like we do, instead of finding solutions.

(And speaking of horses, they can deposit some seriously large poop, but because people can make a buck off them with carriage rides and the like, they look the other way and don’t complain; if people could make a buck off geese rides their droppings would be ignored, too.)

The geese don’t bother anyone: They walk around minding their business, eating grass and nurturing their babies. The geese enjoy their little life exactly like we do ours; I believe we don’t have a right to take their lives just because they have bodily functions just as we do.

Kiley Blackman is founder of Westchester4Geese. Westchester4geese is an adjunct of Animal Defenders of Westchester, based in Tuckahoe.

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