Animal Defenders of Westchester Speaks Out For Geese
Articles and Media Coverage From Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW)

We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Animal Defenders of Westchester Speaks Out For Geese

May 6, 2016

By Kiley Blackman, Founder of Animal Defenders of Westchester

In 2012, News 12 reported that Wildlife Services (a branch of the USDA) secretly slaughtered almost 500 geese and their babies that morning at the Sprain Golf Course in Yonkers – without any prior notice to the community or public discussion. Since that time the public has learned that this is normal practice being complained about all over the country.

Wildlife Services operates with no oversight and no regulation, conducting “war on wildlife” while profiting more than $20 million per year by doing these mass slaughters at golf courses, parks, and for private businesses such as ranchers. Furthermore, if the community happens to learn about Wildlife Services’ proposed involvement, people are told that the animals will be “taken,” “removed,” “culled” or “harvested” – words that disguise the true intent, which is to kill the animals.

Members of Animal Defenders of Westchester met with State Sen. George Latimer to discuss the community getting prior notice of such killings, holding public hearings, etc., and the result was the creation of Bill S2600/ A7067. The “right to know” bill makes public such decisions about wildlife, tax dollars and provides transparency – a constant request by people wanting to know more about their government workings.

Geese represent just a fraction of the animals slaughtered by this agency; Wildlife Services killed 2,713,570 animals in 2014, including 570 black bears, 322 gray wolves, 61,702 coyotes, 2,930 foxes and 305 mountain lions, in addition to cardinals, hawks, sparrows and starlings. The agency also killed three bald eagles and five golden eagles using methods like cyanide capsules, neck snares and foot traps.

One Wildlife Services officer said he left the agency after a particularly disturbing occurrence: He was ordered to report to a city dump to witness agency officials experiment with M-44 sodium cyanide on dogs from a local pound that were supposed to be euthanized. “We were told to watch as they held the dogs down and shot cyanide into their mouths, one by one,” he said. “I went home and cried that day. And then I quit.”

The Department of Environmental Conservation is the licensing agent for Wildlife Services, and they have a legal requirement that applicants must be avowed animal killers to be employed by its Advisory Board (www. “At the time of designation, board members must hold a valid New York state hunting, fishing or trapping license and have held one three years prior,” according to their guildlines.

A petition in support of transparency and open government garnered almost 10,000 signatures ( This legal requirement excludes every single humane, non-hunting New York State resident from serving on its board, to protect their own special interests. Having an advisory board for a wildlife protection agency composed solely of hunters guarantees a lethal, biased outcome.

According to the New York Times: “A growing body of science has found the agency’s war against predators, waged to protect livestock and big game, is altering ecosystems in ways that diminish biodiversity, degrade habitat and invite disease.”

And now their highly suspect employment requirement comes to light.

Wildlife Services tells the public they don’t announce upcoming kills to “minimize the stress on the birds” – then they viciously grab the screaming birds by their necks and feet and shove them into crates, watching helplessly as their babies are being taken from them, and beating their wings against the crates trying to escape... Yeah, they “don’t want to stress the birds.” The fact is they deny the public their rights in order to avoid scrutiny.

It’s over, Wildlife Services.

Please contact your New York State senators and Assembly members and urge them to support bill S.2600/A.7067. This bill reflects the outcry for open government and transparency; it is truly “democracy in action.”

Tell Wildlife Services we want and expect accountability as taxpaying citizens.

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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 -