Westchester 4 GeesePress Releases
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.

Thousands sign 'Right to Know' Petition for Open Govt Bill


December 28, 2015

Kiley Blackman
[email protected]

January Legislature will hear bill calling for transparency, accountability of USDA/Wildlife Services.

New York State...Almost ten thousand people have signed a petition in support of the 'Right to Know' bill for open government, transparency​ and accountability of the activities of USDA/Wildlife Services (WS), which will be presented to the January 2016 NYS Legislative Session.

Sign petition here: Support Bill for Prior Notice on Upcoming Geese, Turkey Culls, Open Govt.

​This​ bill, S.2600/A.7067, introduced by Sen. George Latimer (D-37th District) and co-sponsored by Jose Serrano (D-29th District), calls for prior notice before ​animal ​slaughters ('culls'), public meetings beforehand, and requiring WS to provide information on humane alternatives  to the public​.

​WS​ currently profits handsomely by using our tax dollars to conduct their business in secret.

​WS​ ​is ​staffed by hunters - a requirement of its advisory board - and ​because of that provides 'solutions' to wildlife conflicts that are based on killing.

WS killed three million animals last year, at golf courses, cattle ranches, race tracks, fish farms and airports. The death toll includes bald eagles, owls, foxes, bears, hawks, rabbits, otters, cranes, turtles, ducks, robins, cardinals, mourning doves and house pets.

WS uses methods like neck snares, steel-jaw  traps and M-44 sodium cyanide; they'll drop a phosphorus bomb into a coyote cub's den and cover its opening with dirt.

An outraged WS employee took a photo of the severed heads of 11 mountain lions they'd killed; a former WS agent was ordered  to witness agency officials experiment with M-44 sodium cyanide on dogs from a local pound that were supposed to be euthanized.

"We were told to watch as they held the dogs down and shot cyanide into their mouths, one by one," he said. "I went home and cried that day. And then I quit."

Kiley Blackman is the founder of Animal Defenders of Westchester, the group that worked with Sen. Latimer on the bill. According to her:

"It's clear that the public wants our government to be open and accountable; it was a platform in the last presidential election and been editorialized repeatedly in the media. Especially after Gov Cuomo vetoed a bill to strengthen Freedom of Information (FOIA) laws, every effort must be made to ensure our right to know how our tax dollars are being spent."

"Members of congress have lambasted ​WS​; the NY Times said, "It is time the public got a clear picture of what Wildlife Services is up to, and time for the Department of Agriculture to bring the agency’s work into accord with sound biological practices. Resolving wildlife conflicts need not involve indiscriminate killing.

​"This agency is out of control, answers to no one, and ​actually should​
be completely dismantled

"You can't just freely kill wildlife to make ranchers and golfers happy. ​
The passage of this bill will hopefully signal a dramatic change in the appallingly cloaked and biased way our government currently operates, especially when it comes to the most helpless in our soc​iety."

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