Stand with those who stand up for wildlife
Articles and Media Coverage From Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW)

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Stand with those who stand up for wildlife

FROM The Journal News
October 30, 2014

As the annual USDA/Wildlife Services slaughter of geese in New York commences this month, the demand by the public to stop them increases. The horrific killings of these birds, who are grabbed by their necks and shoved into crates along with their babies, then gassed to death, has caused such an uproar that two New York advocacy groups emerged specifically as a result of this atrocity, Westchester4Geese and Goosewatch NYC.

Now, several area politicians have spoken out strongly against these policies, committed to using humane methods and even introduced legislation which would suspend slaughters as well as mandating the decision-making ability of the public in these activities, most of which are funded by taxpayer dollars:

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has repeatedly worked to develop and encourage methods that help avoid slaughtering geese. Under his leadership and direction, the Parks Department discovered and successfully implemented use of a non-lethal device called the Goosinator, which is being used at local golf courses; met with animal advocates and spoke about humane methods at a "Living with Wildlife" seminar; and had always been responsive and respectful on the subject of wildlife in this county.

State Sen. George Latimer created legislation that would prohibit the use of exotic and wild animals in circuses and shows, and introduced legislation that mandates public notifications and meetings before any slaughters ("culls") of geese or turkeys occur, addressing the sudden and secretive way these slaughters are currently conducted. It is truly a democracy-in-action bill, which gives the public the right to have a say in how their tax dollars are spent.

U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel previously penned a letter of complaint to the USDA/WS expressing concerns about their extreme kill-first polices; on June 24, he sent a letter expressing his concern about these agencies to the Agriculture Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, which said in part: "I believe the duty to inhibit overpopulation of animal species must be balanced with a responsibility to avoid unnecessary suffering on the part of the animals. As a member of the House Animal Protection Caucus I believe it is critical that the USDA deem animal welfare a more central priority. I believe the objective of reducing overpopulation can be met while still preventing the deaths of innocent creatures."

State Sen. Tony Avella has just introduced legislation against the proposed annihilation of mute swans in New York state, which awaits Gov. Cuomo's signature. Avella has additionally been outspoken against the carriage horse industry and the geese slaughters. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he would support looking into alternatives to slaughter during his campaign; other politicians in support of alternatives include Public Advocate Letitia James, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and NYC Council members Carlos Menchaca, Helen Rosenthal and Alan Maisel.

Westchester4Geese worked directly with Rep. Engel and Sen. Latimer to create those documents because the public is fed up. We are proud of these officials who have consideration for those who have no voice; with their help we will make these agencies truly accountable and continue to demand they stop killing our wildlife.

David Karopkin, founder of GooseWatch NYC, has gathered experts in the field of aviation who provide sound evidence that slaughter of geese and other wildlife is wasteful and ineffective. States Karopkin, "If areas in Westchester can resolve their conflicts with Canada geese without slaughtering them, then surely New York City, 'the greatest city in the world' can manage to humanely resolve our issues with wildlife so we can share the world with them and end the killing."

The writer is Kiley Blackman, founder, Westchester4Geese.

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WESTCHESTER4GEESE is an adjunct of ANIMAL DEFENDERS OF WESTCHESTER. We advocate against all forms of animal abuse and exploitation, including hunting, experimentation, fur, circuses and rodeos -