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Stop the State-Sanctioned Killing of Connecticut's Monk Parakeets

November 17, 2005 | Monk Parakeet

Connecticut's United Illuminating Company in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture has started destroying Monk Parakeet nests and gassing the birds living there.

The bulk of the killings are currently being undertaken in West Haven, but will soon spread to Milford, Stratford, Bridgeport and beyond. The $125,000 program, supported by both Connecticut's Department of Environmental Protection and Connecticut's Audubon Society, targets 103 nests throughout the state.

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Friends of Animals condemns the program: "This should get people enraged," said President Priscilla Feral. "These bright green birds delight many people, should not be harmed, and should be considered as a replacement for our extinct Carolina Parakeet. The DEP has long wanted to kill any animals that are not native, as if we ourselves are natives."

Many of these South American birds, brought to the United States more three decades ago, escaped and settled along Connecticut's coast. Their large, intricate nests, which they often build on utility poles are said to be a hazard to public safety. Yet the electric company only notes two incidents where nests were found at the site of a fire.

The USDA's agents who kill birds and animals at taxpayer's expense for private industry, plan to use Connecticut's program as a test case. If successful, the agency may start using similar draconian measures in other states.

Please call for an end to the sanctioned extermination of these in birds that is being subsidized by taxpayers and customers of the utility company.

Contact:

The United Illuminating Company
UIL Holdings Corporation
157 Church Street
P.O. Box 1564
New Haven, CT 06506

Nathaniel Woodson, Chairman of the Board and CEO
nathaniel.woodson@uinet.com
Phone: 203 926-4637
Fax: 203-499-3286

USDA, Massachusetts/ Rhode Island/ Connecticut
Monte Chandler
monte.d.chandler@aphis.usda.gov
463 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
(413)-253-2403

The Connecticut Audubon Society
Milan Bull
2325 Burr Street
Fairfield, CT 06824
203-259-6305, ext 113
mbull@ctaudubon.org

Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection
Wildlife Division
Dale May
79 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106-5127
860-424-3011
dale.may@po.state.ct.us

Related information

Comments

This is outrageous. I am unfortunately a customer of UI because I have NO CHOICE!!. I am furious that they are using stockholder/customer money to pay for these killings. We need to pressure them into stopping this, through petition or state legislative actions. There are other ways to solve this problem instead of killing these birds. Let's not forget this when the want to raise the rates again telling us how they aren't hitting their profit goals. Maybe if they stopped wasting money on killing living things and invested it we wouldn't keep paying higher rates. Please publish Mr Woodson' s email address so that we can urge himn to stop this carnage.

I cried when I read U.I's plan to KILL the Monk Parrots. If New York could find a way to save them so can Connecticut. We all have to get everyone we know to protest this.

I am a Bridgeport resident and never knew these birds even existed until 2 yrs ago. Since then we put up feeders in our yards and when these birds feed on them my whole family runs out just to watch them because they are so beautiful. I am the owner of a cockatiel and parrotts are one of the smartest animals in the world. I don't know how these people who are gassing these loving creatures live with themselves everyday. I think these birds are a beautiful assett to CT's wildlife. I am also apalled at the audubon society who supposedly is for the protection of birds and their habitat...I think very little of them now!!! Take down some of the nests but don't kill them - let them fly free.

I live on the coastline and am lucky enough to have several of the Monk Parakeet nests located near my house. They are truly beautiful birds. It amazes me that with all of the brain power and technology we have at our finger tips, the only solution we could come up with was to remove the nests and kill the birds. Ok, so nests located on the UI poles MAY have caused some power outages. I can understand removing the nests, but why kill the birds? They have not caused any deaths, they have not caused problems with any other native species, they have not spread any disease. What is the purpose of killing off hundreds of these birds? When did we start choosing which animals get to inhabit our state and which ones don't? If the CEO of UI and CT State Reps were smart, they would remember that outrages like this stay with voters, taxpayers, etc. Spending 125K to euthanize innocent birds doesn't make sense and is just cruel.

As I was waiting for a pot of coffee to brew this morning, I was horrified by the article in the Record Journal describing what UI was doing to the beautiful, innocent birds. How would they like if someone went to their home and put a hole in their house? When they went to find out what it was, someone captured them and killed them. This is absolutely an act of animal cruelty. I cant' express my anger at this huge company. Have these people ever had a bird as a pet? We have one and they are the sweetest and loveable creatures that are on this earth. There has to be a better way of relocating them if they feel that they must be moved. If not, then just LEAVE THEM ALONE !!!!!!!

I am extremely upset this morning after reading today's edition of the CT Post. It really sickens me that supposedly intelligent people cannot think of another alternative but death to solve their "problems". United Illuminating could remove the nests, placing them in trees in area parks and forests. They could then put up some type of deterance to prevent the monk parakeets from nesting on the utility poles in the future. How can these people sleep at night after euthanizing these beautiful, innocent birds? United Illuminating and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture better hire savier people who, as needed in this situation, possess the vision to value life instead of death.

This whole situation was brought to my attention this morning. It has sense ruined my day with nauesa as to think we are murdering this beautiful creatures. As a parrot owner, I am almost in tears to even imagine the horror these animals are going thru when they are attacked at their nests. I own a blue crown,sun and green cheek conure and they bring me nothing but absolute joy every day with their antics and talking. We need to stop big company's who think they can do whatever they want to nature. I am all for removing the nests from poles but the birds dont need to be killed. As everyone has stated, protective screens would easily do the trick but as always, big company's lack common sense just like the goverment. I can only pray that these innocent slaughtered animals will be in a better place. Jim

I can understand taking down the nests as they may pose a fire threat....MAYBE????...but why not wait and let them have a safe, warm nest for the winter months which are upon us? This process of euthanizing these beautiful, innocents little birds makes me sick. I,like many others in the area, am a customer of the UI Company and it is very disheartening to think that some of the money we pay them will go towards this disgusting effort. How do they figure they have the right to kill them? Shame, shame, shame. I wholeheartedly hope they reconsider.

Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Phil McGraw has often been quoted as saying that resolving conflict is not about determining who's right and wrong, but rather about developing a plan about which all the parties can get excited. With that in mind, I'd like to see if there are realistic alternatives to extermination that can be explored to remedy the alleged safety problem. Business executives and State officials will not be moved by emotional arguments; they certainly will not be moved by comparisons of animals to people. They would, however, hopefully be moved by reasonable alternative solutions. My question is to what extent this organization or other individuals have been involved with these executives and officials to explore alternatives. For example, would it be possible to capture and transfer the birds elsewhere? Are there physical barriers that can be erected to prevent birds from nesting near the power lines? Is there something tantamount to a scare crow that would prevent the birds from roosting near power lines? I was only made aware of this issue this morning. I know that in the movie, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, it was highlighted that the same issue confronted San Francisco; public officials were considering exterminating on grounds of being "non-native," but public opposition was so great, that at least for now, the officials have backed off. This leads me to another idea: if the birds can be viewed as assets, as opposed to liabilities, perhaps executives and officials can be persuaded to save them. This rationale has worked in many parts of the world in the efforts to save wildlife. In the list of people to contact, don't discount City/County council members, State officials, or even Congressional representatives and senators. Especially local officials have a much greater impact on issues like these than the national figures. By the way, people domiciled in CT generally will have a lot more sway in their state than people seeking to persuade from the outside, because they are the voters on whom public officials rely to stay in office. I would be interested in hearing any thoughts on this issue, in response to my query here. I hope we can find a solution before it is too late.

I learned of the Monk Parakeet inhabiting Connecticut only about 8 or 9 years ago when visiting a client at their home along the Milford Shore. I was intrigued and delighted at these beautiful birds taking up residence in such an unlikely setting. I researched the birds and how they came to inhabit Connecticut and have told many fellow birdlovers about this phenomenon. This morning I turned on the news only to become sickened over the inhumane attempt at eradicating these beautiful creatures. We prosecute those who abuse animals, yet the UI has been given the green light to do just that! I will be writing to every contact at the top of this page to beg for clemency of these innocent animals. In the meantime, if anyone is joining to form a protest please keep me informed at Wendyleigh1130@aol.com as I feel the need to stay involved in this cause.

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