Mute swans have not yet won the war waged against them by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, but they have won another battle.

The NY State Senate on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill introduced by State Senator Tony Avella (D-queens) –with input from Friends of Animals and ornithologistsmdash;that grants the large white birds a two-year reprieve from the DEC’s plan to eradicate them in New York by 2025.

Now their fate lies in Gov. Cuomo’s hands as the legislation heads to his desk to be signed.

Friends of Animals is extremely excited that Senator Avellar’s bill to protect New York mute swans has passed. Our members and supporters rallied relentlessly to stop DEC’s brutal plan to wipe out a beloved species of wildlife. We now strongly urge the governor to pass this bill so that current and future generations of New Yorkers can continue to observe the beauty and grace of these majestic swans.

The bill, #S6589, also requires DEC to illustrate the necessity of eradicating this non-native species by demonstrating the actual damage to the environment or other species caused by mute swans. In addition the bill requires DEC to hold at least two public hearings and to respond to all public comments before finalizing any management plan for mute swans. DEC would be required to prioritize non-lethal management techniques.

“The facts do not support DEC’s plan to eradicate these beautiful creatures,” Avella said. “With the passage of my bill, I think it is now quite clear that DEC’s careless plan to eradicate the entire mute swan species entailed too many questions and not enough answers. These birds have been around for decades and the population is estimated at only 2200. How can they be a threat to society? This has been a huge issue for the State of New York and I am glad that we will now have the time to properly examine and hopefully change this plan with legal protections that prevent harm to the swans and allow New York residents to live in harmony with these treasured birds.”

Avella filed bill #S6589 Feb. 10. Assembly member Steven Cymbrowitz carried the same-as version of Avellar’s legislation in the Assembly, which passed the bill earlier last month.

FoA is asking its supporters to contact Gov. Cuomo and tell him to pass the legislation to save mute swans from eradication.You may contact the Governor#39;s office by phone (518) 474-8390; mail :The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of New York State, NYS State Capitol Building Albany, NY 12224.