Canada Goose

For Immediate Release: June 28, 2011

Contact: Edita Birnkrant, NY Director, Friends of Animals, Email or 917.940.2725

When: Thursday, June 30, 2011, 6pm-8pm

Where: Mayor Bloomberg’s Mansion: 17 East 79th Street, between Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue

New York City-It’s the third summer of contracting between New York City officials and the federal Wildlife Services to target thousands of Canada geese inhabiting the City. Friends of Animals and bird-respecting New Yorkers put the responsibility at Mayor Bloomberg’s door in a large and rousing rally.

“Goose Watch,” a patrol and goose-defense plan organized by Brooklyn residents and Friends of Animals succeeding in stopping the roundups scheduled in Prospect Park, as the NY Times reported last week, but hundreds of other geese are being targeted in the coming weeks.

Edita Birnkrant, NY Director of Friends of Animals, said, “We refuse to accept this as inevitable. This grotesque boondoggle must stop. New York should be protecting the geese in our parks, not chasing them away or stuffing them and their babies into crates and gassing them.”

“We hope to help Mayor Bloomberg understand that the voice of sanity won’t be silenced, as we shout to and from the City’s rooftops Thursday,” said Birnkrant.

Friends of Animals rallied at Mayor Bloomberg’s door last July, after the gassing of 368 Canada geese and their goslings in Prospect Park. The park’s geese were rounded up by US Agriculture Department agents in the dark of the early morning, to the outrage of the Brooklyn community.

That wasn’t all: 1,676 geese in city parks throughout the five boroughs were gassed last summer; 89% of the entire population of geese observed at sites throughout New York City and western Nassau County were killed. This year gassing proposal targets 800 birds.

Mayor Bloomberg claims the geese threaten air safety. (Wrong. Smithsonian scientists proved migratory geese involved in the Hudson River plane crash of 2009 were unrelated to the resident geese of New York City and western Nassau County parks being targeted.)

The inconvenience of goose droppings seem to be the real reason the city wants to banish geese. The city could save money and goodwill by clearing out the droppings instead of the geese.

Killing means birds repopulate to fill the vacuum – leading to an endless cycle of urban violence.

Johanna Clearfield, a Brooklyn resident and wildlife advocate said:

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.

The staff and supporters of Friends of Animals strongly oppose all policies advocating birth control of geese or addling of goose eggs – destroying eggs by shaking, piercing or coating the eggs with oil, often scaring them away from their nests by using hazing dogs – considering these approaches traumatic and invasive.

“Geese and other urban wildlife don’t need to be managed,” said Birnkrant. “The impulse to obliterate every species that crosses our path surely does, and decision-makers approving such wrong-headed polices must be held accountable, starting with Mayor Bloomberg.”

What You Can Do

Contact Mayor Bloomberg and make clear your opposition to the slaughter of geese in New York City.

· If you live in New York City, you can call the Mayor’s office at City Hall at 212.788.300 or 311

Outside of New York City, call 212-NEW-YORK.
· Fax a message: 212-788-8123.
· Send an email to the Mayor.

For more information, contact Edita Birnkrant, NY Director of Friends of Animals by Email or 917.940.2725