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From Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW)

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



April 1, 2014

Kiley Blackman
[email protected]


Westchester County, NY    April 1, 2014  Following reports of a Jetblue airliner making an emergency landing after colliding with a seagull on March 28, several animal rights organizations are joining Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW) in calling for upgrading air travel with advanced technology that is readily available but not being used.  According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there are 10,000 such strikes involving non-military aircraft each year; why are they deliberately avoiding technological improvements?
Israel has been the notable leader in developing effective radar, creating a system that can follow individual birds that weigh as little as ten grams and are as far away as 12 miles. Other air forces have adapted the concept of avian radar, such as the EBirdRad radar unit, that can detect more than 100 targets at the same time.

Radar Stops Aircraft Colliding With Each Other ó It Should Stop Them Colliding With Birds Too

Furthermore, an article in November's NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC outright accuses the FAA of deliberately not using avian radar, choosing instead to to spend millions on the archaic, controversial, pointless killing of birds and dealing with the aftermath of bird strikes, as opposed to avoiding them via technology
Bloody Skies: The Fight to Reduce Deadly Bird-Plane Collisions
Indeed, the type of engine used by Jetblue - an airline already plagued with ongoing problems - may itself have contributed to this bird strike emergency: With newer, updated engine standards, plane engines are not as vulnerable to plane strikes; and questions are raised about the quality of the craft itself, which split at the site of the strike.  
In fact, the killing of wildlife hasnít even prevented large numbers of bird strikes:  According to FAA records there were 157 bird strikes at Kennedy since 2013 - and records show there have been 118 at La Guardia in that same time frame.

Not only is there zero attempt to save lives by upgrading technology, bizarre city planning is allowing a new waste transfer station to be built at La Guardia airport, which will attract even more birds, almost guaranteeing additional conflicts with planes; suspiciously and perhaps not coincidentally, the Dept. of Sanitation has a $700K annual contract with USDA Wildlife Services to kill sea gulls right at that very area.
Kiley Blackman, founder of ADOW said, 'It's nothing short of outrageous that we continue mass slaughter - at enormous cost to taxpayers - while ignoring items that provide real progress.  Technology has gone through the roof in the last 20 years alone: We have videophones, cars that respond to voice commands, fetuses are operated on inside the womb, robots clean our floors...the internet alone is an amazing advance in technology that has altered the world immeasurably.  The fact is, pilot error is responsible for 50% of crashes - but there is no call for the extermination of pilots; using the highly avoidable 'bird strike' as an excuse to kill wildlife is the proverbial 'keeping your head in the sand.'   This time the plane landed safely - but what about the next time?  Its so easy to scapegoat those who cannot defend themselves - but we must learn to share air space with wildlife who have as much right to it as we do.  Air travel is currently in the Dark Ages - but no people or birds should have to die because absolutely no effort is being made to avoid disaster by bringing air travel into the 21st century.' 

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