Citizens were allowed only one minute to express their thoughts at the Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees meeting Monday evening. Less than half of the people who wanted to speak out against the planned slaughter of the geese were able to voice their opinions.
According to the Larchmont.patch.com, Mayor Norman Rosenblum and the Village Trustees contacted the United States Department of Agriculture who are planning a mass slaughter of the community's Canada geese population this summer. Citizens are outraged as the plan from the USDA includes an early morning roundup of the birds during the summer months when they have molted and are unable to fly. Agents separate the scared goslings from their parents, crate the panicky birds and then either gas them or shoot them. Community members and animal rights advocates are outraged at the inhumanity of the process.
Edita Birnkrant, the New York director of Friends of Animals asked why the community isn't using the Rake-O-Vac to clean up the goose droppings. The Village purchased the equipment last year at a cost of $29,000 specifically to clean up after the geese.
"Just clean it up," stated Birnkrant who says there are many alternative solutions to the Canada goose problems without slaughtering the birds.
Other speakers said the community was sending a terrible message to children teaching them that the solution when something gets in your way is just to exterminate it.
Earlier this year Scarsdale had planned a similar attack on the geese, however public outrage and the bad publicity convinced local politicians to reconsider. The Scarsdale.daily voice.com reported the change of plans and that the geese who paddle in the pond near the Scarsdale Public Library are safe. Other solutions for controlling the population are now being investigated.
Part of the ambiance of waterfront communities is the diverse wildlife who come to live and raise families of their own. The growing communities push the wildlife out from their natural habitats, however animal supporters and lovers of wildlife favor humane methods over a mass annihilation.
Solutions have been suggested over bringing in the USDA to cull the flocks. Habitat and landscape alterations and modifications can be implemented to deter geese from settling in and nesting. There are non toxic repellents and birth control. Prevent people from feeding the geese, use the equipment purchased to clean up the goose poop, or as is done in New Jersey at one private school and many other communities is the use of leashed dogs who chase the geese away.
"Why would the community of Mamaroneck want such bad publicity? Once social media gets a lock on such a cruel project, this popular New York family destination tourist trade will suffer," Carolyn Rogers of New York City said, “Why would I want to bring my children to a place where there's little respect for wildlife? Surely there are other ways for humans and wildlife to live in harmony."
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