April 20, 2011 / Brooklyn news / Park Slope / Meadows of Shame

Pols: Stop the secret goose slaughter!

The Brooklyn Paper
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Two Park Slope lawmakers are pushing legislation that would prevent another secret slaughter of geese this summer.

The act, which was introduced last week by Councilmen Brad Lander and Steve Levin (D–Park Slope), forces the city to consider public input before taking “wildlife management” action like the mass killing of close to 300 Canada geese last summer in Prospect Park.

“These decisions should be made in the light of day,” Lander said. “Not the cloak of night.”

That outlook was echoed by wildlife advocates and park watchdogs, who hope the newfound transparency deters a second “culling” in Prospect Park.

“It’s tremendously positive,” said park watchdog Ed Bahlman, adding he only wishes the law had more teeth. “It’s an important step.”

The legislation was drafted in response to the secret massacre last July, a slaughter that was done in the name of aviation safety, yet still shocked many members of the public with its ferocity, breadth and middle-of-the-night execution.

Under the legislation, the city would be required to form a wildlife “advisory board” with 11 experts, ranging from academics to animal rights advocates. Three would be appointed by the mayor and three by Council Speaker Christine Quinn; the remaining members would be culled from the parks and sanitation departments.

The bill would also require the drafting of a “citywide wildlife management plan” that would promote “biological diversity” and “humane treatment” of animals. Nothing binds the city to act on what the board advises, however.

Prospect Park officials have already taken steps toward humane waterfowl population management — such as egg “addling” and using dogs to deter geese — but the city has still not committed to ditching its “catch and kill” contract with federal authorities, much to the disappointment of local lawmakers.

“Canadian geese should be treated like guests in our borough,” said Levin. “[Culling] is no way to treat a guest.”

The bill follows up on a letter sent to Mayor Bloomberg in early March that called on the administration cancel its plans to kill more geese.

“We are requesting that you … commit not to cull,” the letter read.

The Bloomberg administration has still not responded.

Updated 5:23 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Or from Yellow Hook says:

Don't keep it secret, lets have a goose roast - Canada Geee are the Kudzu of water fowl - they don't belong here - Ducks, swans, loons and cranes were once native to the waters here, but the geese pushed them out, the way the english sparrows over ran the native blue birds.

Gassing (actualy depriving them of air and replacing it with CO2) is the most humane way to get rid of these pests.
April 20, 2011, 1:56 pm
Mike from Park Slope says:
Well done Levin and Lander. Clearly the way this was done last year was not appropriate.
April 20, 2011, 2 pm
Justin Brannan from Bay Ridge says:
100% Backed. Well done, gents.
April 20, 2011, 2:16 pm
MB from Windsor Terrace says:
Thanks for following through and for putting the compassionate treatment of our wildlife on the forefront!

Let's hope that an advisory board will include members who advocate for the geese- not solely government employees who appease Bloomberg.

April 20, 2011, 7:08 pm
pecosd from Park slope says:
I think this is all great but what about this years geese?

This is a bill and not law. Inspectors are coming to the Park in May and Mayor Bloomberg has not answered. It is my understanding that after the eggs are oiled, the dogs come and go, the remaining geese are going to be slaughtered. Perhaps this will be good for next years geese, but only maybe. This is no time to celebrate, but realize that more has to be done quickly.

Mayor Bloomberg has been petitioned by Freedom of Information Act request to release information on past culling and to comment on this years coming slaughter there has been nothing; he has not replied. Why would anyone expect that things will be different this year than past years? The USDA readily admits that killings are done at night to reduce the harm it may do to peoples sensitivities.

At this moment there are about 40 geese in residence at the park. Do we really want to allow these geese to be killed if they are not run off. If they have goslings, they will only run from the dogs because the goslings will not be able to fly. In addition, in early June they will be molting and it will be 6 weeks before they can fly again. By the time they can fly again the cities contract will be up. They city will have come in at this time and do the killing.

When are the dogs coming? They should of been out there all ready for this to be really successful. Nesting season is from mid-March to mid-May. The geese will be able to fly again by early August. The killings in the city have taken place in mid-June to July. Something is certainly wrong here.

April 20, 2011, 8:39 pm
PattyA from Manhattan says:
While gratitude should be expressed to Levin and Lander for addressing the issue, I have questions and concerns about the proposed "Advisory Board."

What "Animal Rights" representatives would be on it?

Certainly, Bloomberg or Quinn would not appoint AR reps. And its hard to imagine a Sanitation Dept member being a spokesperson for animal rights.

It almost sounds like it might be a situation of foxes being put in charge of "overseeing" the goose pond.
April 20, 2011, 9:52 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Bring in some native owls and get them to nest. They will kill and eat the gooslings, solve the problem, and move on to the pigeon population.
April 20, 2011, 9:53 pm
david k. from ditmas park says:
Or, you think the geese don't belong here so you're solution is to bring in owls? lol,

I think the important thing here is that the community needs to be notified when culling and other wildlife management measures are planned or taking place.
April 20, 2011, 11:35 pm
John M. from Windsor Terrace says:
I agree with both PattyA and david k. as well as Pecosd-
all great points.

@Or, there are owls in the park already so need to "bring in".

Important to include the community - being transparent with those who pay the salaries of those involved.

What about the geese this year as pecosd stated?
April 21, 2011, 8:01 am
Javier from Flatbush says:
Thanks Council members Brad and Steve.

The advisory board must include members who advocate for the geese and other animals in our parks.
April 22, 2011, 2:33 am

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