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.

Calls for Latimer to stop airport overreach wildlife slaughter in Greenburgh

April 18, 2018
Contact:  Kiley Blackman 
[email protected]
Calls for Latimer to stop airport overreach wildlife slaughter in Greenburgh

Greenburgh Chief joins calls for change after troubling discovery in Westchester airport operations.
Westchester County, NY - Animal advocacy group Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW) has uncovered several troubling facts about the operation of Westchester airport and Wildlife Services, who is retained for their wildlife management.
When a veterinarian contacted ADOW a few months ago, complaining about wide-scale wildlife killings at Fisher Pond in Greenburgh, queries and FOIA requests to various agencies finally revealed the source to be Westchester airport.  The airport released this statement via Asst. Airport Manager Stephen Ferguson: 
"Wildlife Services recommends and performs on the airport’s behalf, Canada goose management within 7 miles of the airport perimeter to protect the runway approach and departure airspace.  Fisher Pond (Greenburgh) is located within 7 miles of the airport perimeter."
However: In a recent meeting with airport officials - including Ken Paskar, who is the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Airport Support Network Volunteer for Westchester County Airport, as well as being the former Lead Safety Representative for the FAA Safety Team; Airport Manager Steve Ferguson; and Commissioner Vincent Kopicki - a representative from Wildlife Services admitted that they are not mandated by the FAA to slaughter animals and birds in a seven mile radius - the FAA only mandates a five-mile radius...and Wildlife Services merely chooses to add an extra two miles of killing on their own whim.
ADOW immediately notified Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner about this issue, and Feiner has also contacted County Executive Latimer, requesting that he intervene in this matter.  
Kiley Blackman, ADOW founder, said, "I call BS: This is yet another unchecked, no-oversight renegade action, which Wildlife Services is known for.  They doesn't make the rules - the FAA does; there's already enough funny business between the Westchester airport and WS without adding renegade overreaching unnecessary slaughter.
"Airport slaughters are big business for Wildlife Services:  Killing birds as a means of 'management,' rather than deterring them, ensures a constant supply of revenue, as more birds always come in after others are wiped out.  The hunter-staffed Wildlife Services is taking in an enormous amount of taxpayer monies - over half a million for the last three years! - just for this effort alone...while all other non-lethal methods are far more cost-efficient.  Killing birds at airports used to only be done in extreme cases - now, due to Wildlife Services urging, its the norm.  The Westchester Airport has repeatedly promised to explore new non-lethal means in this area, which would involve other merchants beside Wildlife Services - but refuses to act on it.  In fact, at the meeting, Kopicki stopped us from directly challenging WS​

We have reached out to the National Resource Defense Council and Animal Legal Defense Fund regarding this situation, with an eye toward filing a lawsuit against the airport, the county and Wildlife Services."
"CE Latimer and Westchester airport must reject this shameful, gratuitous slaughter under the guise of 'management.'  The airport gave a no-bid contract to Wildlife Services - ignoring required competitive bidding; they must get out of Greenburgh.  It is absolutely unacceptable that a Greenburgh resident - who has every right to enjoy their parks in peace - has to watch in tears as the wildlife she loves are brutally and needlessly slaughtered by a out-of-control tax-payer funded agency hell-bent on doing as much lethal damage as possible.  Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner has asked County Executive Latimer to intervene;  we join Supervisor Feiner in requesting CE Latimer put an end to this disgrace."

Return to Press Releases