For Immediate Release:
Contact: Edita Birnkrant, NY director, Friends of Animals 917.940.2725
Advocates Demand an End to Bird Removal and Killing
New York City-A group of local Brooklyn advocates have joined forces with Friends of Animals, an international advocacy organization, to mobilize against the chasing off or rounding up of geese and their small goslings in Prospect Park and other City parks this summer, and to demand policies of protection and respect for urban wildlife.
video & photo by Matt Ocampo
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A plan has been launched and is currently in effect to keep watch at Prospect Park, including during the hours that the park is closed to the public, from 1am-5am, when the US Department of Agriculture agents are most likely to arrive to trap and kill geese. The goose slaughter contract Mayor Bloomberg signed with the USDA runs through June 30th, meaning that New York City's Canada geese are at risk of a massacre every day.
GooseWatch organizers have amassed a list of nearly 100 supporters who are on call to receive a mass text message and phone call at any hour of the night if the USDA is spotted by stakeout patrollers and who are able to come to the park immediately to defend the geese.
The "GooseWatch" group is committed to protecting the geese of Prospect Park, New York City and beyond.
"We cannot allow USDA agents to enter our parks once again to brutally stuff molting, flightless geese and their babies into crates and gas them," said Edita Birnkrant, NY Director of Friends of Animals and a GooseWatch organizer.
"We say no to Mayor Bloomberg's dishonest, mean-spirited attack on Canada geese, and to demand an end to the killing of the geese beloved by so many park-goers," said Birnkrant, who added that chasing the birds off or ruining their eggs is part of this same war.
The immediate goal of GooseWatch is to ensure that if the USDA returns in the summer of 2011 to kill any of Prospect Park's remaining geese, the event will be witnessed and documented, and prevented, through the use of noisemakers, whistles and other tactics to scatter the geese.
"Last year, the community was fast asleep when the USDA came in the middle of the night to round up Prospect Park's Canada geese. This year we will be wide awake, watching and waiting," said GooseWatch organizer and Brooklyn resident David Karopkin. The stakeout will be conducted in compliance with park rules and local law.
"As a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the Department of Environmental Conservation, I work to rescue wildlife, while the USDA, another government agency, is killing the very birds I'm trying to save," said Johanna Clearfield, a Brooklyn resident and wildlife advocate.
Last July, an early morning roundup and gassing of nearly 400 of Prospect Park's resident Canada geese caused a public outcry. Last summer 1,676 geese were killed throughout New York City.
To join the stakeout team during a patrol, or request more information, media and advocates should e-mail Protect Our Geese or Friends of Animals.
Friends of Animals, an international animal advocacy organization founded in 1957, advocates for the rights of animals to live free, on their own terms.