FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Council Member Letitia James Joins In Defense of Animals To Speak out Against USDA Massacre of Canada Geese
Rally at City Hall Calls for Humane Methods
New York (August 11, 2010) - In Defense of Animals (IDA), an international animal protection organization, will be joined by New York City Council Member Letitia James, on the steps of City Hall in Manhattan on Thursday, August 12, at noon, to call for an end to the city’s contract with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to kill all Canada geese within seven miles of NY’s airports. The contract is established in conjunction with the Port Authority of New York.
Also attending the rally will be Council Members Brad Lander and Stephen Levin as well as State Senator Eric Adams, who represents the district that includes Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, where, without warning, 400 geese were rounded up and gassed in the early hours of July 8, 2010.
The Prospect Park killings sparked an outcry from local residents, many of whom knew individual geese by name, and relished them as a rare and vital link to nature. That outcry, which has now grown into a full roar of dissent, has since exposed reports of 1,700 Canada geese killed in NYC by the Wildlife Services of USDA over the past year, with plans to wipe out roughly two-thirds of the goose population in New York State. Rally attendees, including the elected officials, are vowing to see the killings stopped.
According to Council Member James, “It is tragic that 400 Canada geese were killed in Brooklyn’s historic Prospect Park. This extreme action appears to be a belated response to last year’s Delta crash into the Hudson River caused by migratory birds that entered the plane’s engines. Prospect Park’s birds lived permanently in the park, and my office has heard from constituents that believe they were not a threat to the region’s air safety, but merely sacrificed as scapegoats. Also, the fact that the killing of these birds took place without prior community or local-elected official notification is an indication that this plan was not well-developed.”
Geese populations control can be addressed through a variety of preventive and non-lethal humane methods, such as Ovocontrol, which is a USDA-approved birth control drug for use in geese.
The City and Port Authority claim that aviation safety demands the birds be killed, but ignore the very fact that cities worldwide deal with the problem of birds near airports without exterminating them. The problem of birds colliding with engines is real, but can be dealt with by employing a range of methods, including radar detection, currently not in use in NYC’s airports.
Contact Barbara Stagno 914.479.5276