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Save Cornwall's Canada Geese

May 22, 2014 | Geese

Did you know Canada goose roundups are monstrous? US Department of Agriculture agents typically enter a pond area during early morning, roughly separate goslings from parents, and then stuff the bound, panicked geese and babies into crates. Next, the geese are gassed or shot to death.  

Friends of Animals is asking its New York  members to take action and urge the town of Cornwall, N.Y. not to hire USDA agents to kill Canada geese like it did last summer. The USDA contracted with the Cornwall Town Board last summer to kill approximately 139 local geese under the guise of air safety issues at Stewart International Airport.

Friends of Animals advocates sensible steps to peacefully co-exist with geese rather than the shoot first mentality officials in Cornwall have embraced in the past. Officials must make it a policy to clean up waste matter instead of saying all geese within town limits must die. Posting signs and enforcing no-feeding and littering rules are also sound steps. 

In addition, habitat and landscape modifications are environmentally reasonable, longterm ways to deter geese from areas where they are seen as problematic. Geese are attracted to areas with short, mowed grass with open sight lines as safe nesting areas. Growing grass longer in areas, planting native shrubs and trees to block sight lines (geese like to watch for predators), will deter geese from ponds, shores and parkland—reducing the time they spend in any one spot—especially for the six-week period in summer when they're moulting. 

Friends of Animals produces a Canada Goose Habitat Modification Manual detailing this process. Contact the Town Board members of Cornwall and tell them to abandon their mean-spirited plan to slaughter Canada geese. 

Randy Clark, Supervisor:  845-534-3760; rclark@cornwallny.gov   

James McGee: mcgeeatlarge@gmail.com

Elizabeth Longinott:  elonginott@gmail.com

Helen Bunt:  hbunt1@verizon.net

Peter Russell: prussell556@gmail.com

J. Kerry McGuinness:  jkerrymcg@aol.com

 

You can also sign a petition on Change.org right here.

 

Comments

As a New York resident, I find your plans to exterminate geese cruel and unacceptable. Instead of choosing this lazy manner of dealing with issues involving geese, please follow the lead of communities that find thoughtful and humane ways of coexisting with wildlife.

Rounding up and killing the geese is not only horribly cruel - I've witnessed these types of roundups, and the parents are separated from the young; the slaughterhouse process is even more traumatic, especially as these are wild, not farmed, creatures - but killing will not solve your alleged objective: to keep the geese out of areas where they (or more likely, their droppings) are considered a nuisance.

I urge you to consider - and implement - the following humane, non-lethal, EFFECTIVE alternatives below:

* The use of trained Border Collies and their handlers, to haze geese out of areas where they are deemed problematic (allowing the geese some part of the park/territory where other people may enjoy interacting with them);

* the proper application of a benign-yet-annoying-to-the-geese lawn treatment, found naturally occurring in Concord grapes: generic name, Methyl anthranilate, trade name ReJexIt (or similar products by a different trade name);

* low wire fencing where sidewalks meet the grass: Canada geese are large birds, and as such, would require too much energy to fly over the fences for short hops; this would also aid in keeping the geese away from the parts of the lawn areas/sidewalks where they may be controversial.

(Again, you would have to allow for *some* part of the green space for the birds' use - despite their name, they are a native part of our natural environment, and need some place where they can eat, rest and do all the other things as Nature intended);

* allowing the grass to grow a bit longer (6" or so) at the waters' edge: geese are naturally attracted to short turf grass with an unobstructed view of/access to bodies of water. Longer grass is less desirable to them, in terms of their forage, as well as their ability to watch for predators.

Without changing the conditions that attracted the geese in the first place (short turf grass and easy access to large bodies of water), you will just set up an annual cycle of killing: nature abhors a vacuum, and other geese will simply take the place of those you kill; therefore,

* killing Canada geese is a tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars that can be better and more effectively spent on some/all of the solutions outlined above (for lower cost, to boot).

Again: I urge you to CANCEL this proposed slaughter of innocent, harmless creatures.

You can look to either the town of Clarkstown or the Village of Mamaroneck within the last 10-15 years (as well as other municipalities around the US more recently) who have effectively addressed this issue without resorting to needless - and ineffectual, wasteful - bloodshed.

Needless killing of innocent animals must be punished severely

Please abandon your plans to hire USDA agents to round up and kill Canada geese. Why not implement a plan that will allow peaceful co-existence between the people of Cornwall and geese? For example, landscape modifications is a good first step: if you deter geese from using short or mowed grass for nesting by letting the grass grow longer, that's one problem solved. Also, post signs warning people about the dangers of feeding geese.

Please take a moment to consider humane alternatives.

Thank you.

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