June 2008
URGENT: Please sign this petition to help prevent the killings of 2,000 geese in NY.

NEW YORK - New York City plans to trap and kill as many as 2,000 Canada geese this summer in an attempt to avoid the type of collision that caused an airliner to ditch in the Hudson River.

The hunt will take place on dozens of city properties within eight kilometres of Kennedy and LaGuardia airports.

Aviation officials have culled bird flocks on airport property for years, but this will mark a major expansion of the effort into other parts of the city.

The roundup is being timed with the molting season, when the geese can't fly.

The killing is scheduled to begin within a week.

The birds will be gassed!

Many states, including New York, have passed laws against the gassing of shelter animals for the cruelty it inflicts on the animals. Why then, is gassing "ok" for our wild geese?

Complain to:

Contact Information:

Allen Gosser,  USDA
New York Wildlife Services State Director
1930 Route 9
Castleton, NY 12033

Phone: (518) 477-4837

FAX: (518) 477-4899

Also to: Tell them you want to file a formal complaint; they will take your contact info and promise the mayor will get back to you:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007
PHONE (212) 788-3000
FAX (212) 312-0700




No Flight of Fancy

Geese on Rikers netted & gassed

Landing on Rikers Island is a bad twist of fate, even if you are a flock of Canada geese.

For the second year in a row, federal wildlife officials netted and gassed more than 200 geese on Rikers Island, best known for hosting a city jail.

They said it's a safety issue. Geese that fly into airplanes taking off or landing at nearby LaGuardia Airport can cause a hazard for passengers.

But animal advocates say there are better, more humane ways to keep the birds away.

"You can take the birds off Rikers Island but they are going to come right back if you don't attack the bigger picture," said Gary Kaskel of United Action for Animals. "The entire animal protection community is saddened that this city must continue to kill Canada geese on Rikers Island due to the failure of the city to implement the area-wide nonlethal program discussed an entire year ago to solve this problem."

Kaskel said the city should be oiling geese eggs in a 5-mile radius of the airport, not just in a few nests on Rikers Island.

"We consider this a safety issue," said Pasquale DiFulco of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates LaGuardia Airport. "Since 2002, there have been 131 bird strikes. It's obviously something that deserves our attention."

The Port Authority contracts with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to get rid of the geese, which gather each year around June and July on Rikers.

According to experts, the birds seek refuge on the island during their molting season when they are not able to fly.

"They go from where they are nesting to a place they feel a little safer," said Richard Chipman, a wildlife biologist and New York State Director of USDA Wildlife Services.

This month, the USDA rounded up about 288 geese - about half the number they gathered last year from Rikers Island.

The geese are sent to a poultry plant and then distributed to food kitchens.

This year the USDA will sample the goose meat and test it for heavy metals and pesticides.

A group of city, Port Authority and federal officials have talked about taking other measures to get rid of the geese. For example, they will plant tall fescue grass on parts of the island because geese don't like it.

But Kaskel said they dropped the ball in getting a permit to oil goose eggs in the 5-mile radius of the airport.

Oiling prevents the eggs from hatching, cutting down the number of goslings.

Originally published on July 19, 2005