Darien, Connecticut — Just when the Mute Swan thought it was safe to go back in the East Coast’s waters — after months of governmental assessments, litigation and debate — it turns out that government agents may begin shooting 7,973 swans (out of a total population of 12,648) as early as next week. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that over 24 million East Coast residents (and millions more tourists) observe and photograph wildlife; yet the Service has decided that they have more in common with the area’s 3.8 million hunters. Many states in the Atlantic Flyway region are considering hunting Mute Swans, and official killings may pave the way for public acceptance of swan-hunting.

A representative of Maryland Department of Natural Resources, a state agency that had repeatedly denied intentions of a hunt on Mute Swans, wrote to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in July of this year, ‘We believe that mute swan hunting seasons in some areas of the flyway can make a significant contribution to reducing mute swan survival.’

Friends of Animals, relying on the work of scientists and ethicists, firmly opposes the killing of the swans.

FoA encourages animal advocates to write to the governors of all the states on the East Coast where swans are threatened to oppose their wildlife agency’s swan-killing schemes. As Friends of Animals president Priscilla Feral has stated, “No other country has decided to kill swans in order to address their problems of pollution. In the U.S., we have suddenly decided that water pollution can be eradicated along with the swans. This flies in the face of common sense, let alone moral reasoning. It is high time for our government to stop diverting public attention from the real causes of water pollution.”

Friends of Animals, through its Swan Watch Network, is offering up to $2,500 for good quality footage of a Mute Swan being killed or harassed by a federal or state agent.

Friends of Animals is an international animal rights organization with over 200,000 members and supporters.