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

Press Release


June 26, 2013

Kiley Blackman  
[email protected]   



JUNE 26, 2013  WESTCHESTER4GEESE has learned of a secret USDA contract filed by the Belmont Racetrack, which will allow the killing of geese and other birds at the track, to enable Belmont to exploit and abuse racehorses without the 'nuisance' of birds flying about, which they grotesquely label 'a direct threat to human safety.'  In fact, the origin of these purported 'threats' are owls, egrets, herons, seagulls and cardinals - all killed viciously in the ongoing war on wildlife conducted by the USDA and Fish and Wildlife 'Services,' a bizarre pseudonym for what is little more than an agency that advocates rampant, unchecked slaughter of wildlife.  Why is a racetrack being allowed to kill birds?  One assumes that the oblivious track-going public is troubled by the presence of the birds, who obscure their view of horses with metal plates forced into their mouths while being whipped and drugged to make them run faster.  
A Freedom of Information Act (FIOA) document provided to us on June 23, 2013, reveals that there are 13 locales in the Long Island and New York City area that have been happily granted contracts to kill Canada geese by the USDA, despite these birds' federally-protected status; and that, in addition,  the USDA has shamefully allowed two racetracks, Belmont and Saratoga, to kill their avian they can go on abusing and exploiting horses without the 'threat' of birds flying while they beat horses to make them win money, showing that there is no species who garners mercy from the racetrack purveyors.
The horseracing industry is rife with scandal, drug abuse, injuries, race-fixing and coverups; whenever you have a business that makes huge sums of money from those who have no voice, misdeeds are too easily 'overlooked.'  These animals are overbred and forced to run on legs that are under-developed; the rest go to auction and slaughterhouses: It costs money to send them 'to pasture,' which cuts into profits.  The Churchill Downs website lists an astonishing number of per-week injuries to racehorses.  Rick Dutrow, trainer of Derby Winner Big Brown, openly admits to giving his horses a steroid that is illegal in many states, though, interestingly, not in the three that host the Triple Crown.  Even the conservative Readers Digest ran an expose of this industry several years ago.  Animals break bones, collapse, and die at racetracks.  How ironic that now the birds in the air will die too - for the same greed, avarice and vicious brutality that drives this 'sport' which should be banned outright.  
Westchester4Geese founder Kiley Blackman said, 'These needless, cruel slaughters are an unmitigated disgrace and the USDA needs to be investigated.  We demand to know why a race track is granted a permit to kill birds;  this is an outrage against decency and makes us into nothing more than savages.  Thus far we have been lied to repeatedly by the USDA,  who makes millions off the killing of wildlife, who perpetuates the lie about 'health hazards' of geese droppings despite the fact that there isn't one single case of anyone being sickened by them...who perpetuates the lie that geese must be killed to 'prevent' strikes on planes despite the fact that planes are hit by lightening more than by birds and ignoring pilot error and technological advances being used in other countries which would preclude the supposed 'need' for 'culling.'  The USDA will make a pretty penny off these illegal killings...and decent citizens deserve answers for why this is allowed.'
 Richard Brummel, founder of Planet In Peril, whose efforts brought the secret killings to light, added, 'Our wildlife share this state and this planet. These birds targeted for killing across Long Island and New York State -- including over 6,000 Canada geese and over 3,000 other birds (including owls, egrets, ducks, sparrows, woodpeckers, hawks, and dozens of other species) --  are a vital,  beautiful part of our environment and have a right to raise their families in peace. They are also sensitive living creatures that the state should not be killing for any reason, let alone at a racetrack's request.'
A comprehensive list of kill permits issued to L.I. and NYC venues appears below; original documents upon request:
1 -- Republic Airport
1/1/2013 - 12/31/2013
20 Canada geese
25 Gulls
Plus open ended authorization for any time “a direct threat to human safety”
2 -- Stony Brook SUNY Roth Pond
4/1/2012 - 12/31/2012
Kill up to 75 Canada geese
3 -- Rechler Equity Mgmt LLC
45 Melville Park Rd, Melville
10/1/2012 - 9/30/2013
Up to 25 Canada Geese
4 -- US APHIS Wildlife Services
Throughout NY State
10/1/2012 - 9/30/2013
“injurious situations impacting human health or safety, natural resources, agriculture, public or private property”
5000 Canada Geese
100 Brant
50 Mallards
2 Osprey
40 EACH: 5 species Heron, 3 species Egret,1 species Ibis
40 EACH: 17 species ducks and mergansers
40 EACH: 13 species Sandpipers Coots Gulls vultures, snipe etc.
40 EACH: 13 species Doves cuckoo sapsucker woodpeckers kingfishers etc.
40 EACH: 31 species flycatcher sparrow mockingbird cardinal bunting finch Raven etc.
30 EACH: 2 species of hawks and 7 species of owls
1,105 nests including 5 Osprey nests
5 -- 1111 Marcus Avenue, Lake Success NY
5/14/2013 - 4/30/2014
200 Canada Geese
6 -- 10 State Parks on Long Island (incl. Bethpage, Jones Beach, Connetquot, Bayard Arboretum) and Northern State, Wantagh, and Meadowbrook Parkways
9/1/2012 - 8/31/2013
1,250 Canada Geese
7 -- Belmont and Saratoga Racetracks
8/1/2012 to 7/31/2013
40 Canada Geese each
8 -- Fishers Island Golf Course
4/1/2013 - 3/31/2013
70 Canada geese
9 -- Colonial Springs Golf Course East Farmingdale NY
6/1/2013 - 5/31/2014
100 Canada geese
10 -- 71 Old Westbury Rd, Old Westbury NY
300 Canada geese
4/25/2012 - 3/31/2013
11 -- 388 River Road, Manorville NY
1/1/2013 - 12/31/2013
409 Canada Geese
12 -- Nassau County DPWQ Cedar Creek Sewage Plant, Wantagh
4/1/2013 - 3/31/2014
60 nests Gulls -- addle eggs or destroy empty nests
25 nests Canada Geese -- same
13 -- Cape Pond, Town of Wawarsing, Ulster County NY
1/1/2013 - 12/31/2013
25 Canada geese
14 -- Leisure Village Association, 402 Bridgewater Dr., Ridge, NY
9/1/2012 - 8/31/2013
20 Canada geese

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