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Three very quick actions to protest the upcoming murder of 250,000 innocent geese and their babies

August 25, 2010

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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Services continues to systematically round up and exterminate entire flocks of resident Canada geese all over the country. IDA is calling on our supporters to get involved to stop this needless killing. In 2010, thousands of innocent Canada geese across the country have been or will be gassed to death or sent to slaughterhouses if we do not take action to stop it. Since non-lethal population control programs for resident Canada geese have proven successful throughout the country, the USDA must change course and switch to non-lethal, humane, and progressive population control.

With your help, we can make a positive difference for the Canada geese who call the United States home.

Act to protect Canada geese in your community by contacting your city manager’s office to request a copy of their goose management plan. If it includes lethal methods, object! Also, please submit the form to send an e-mail to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, asking him to immediately end the slaughter of Canada geese.

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Canada geese (Branta Canadensis) include a range of sub-species native to North America, all of which suffered near extinction in the early 20th century. Hunting and habitat loss were the main causes of their dramatic decline and eventually led to the enactment of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) of 1918. The MBTA substantially regulated hunting of Canada geese and sought to preserve critical habitat.

With federal protections in place, Canada geese populations were afforded the opportunity to recover. In some areas, state run wildlife agencies actively bred and released resident Canada geese to increase the stock of available prey for hunters as well. Experts believe that overly abundant resident flocks of Canada geese today are attributed to the stocking efforts by these agencies in the past.

Urban environments provide resident Canada geese ideal habitats to thrive. City parks, recreational areas, and golf courses offer large expanses of grass to forage on and large ponds to swim in. The absence of natural predators in these man-made environments also contributes to the success of resident populations.

Canada geese are classified as migratory and resident (non-migratory) species. Those classified as migratory nest exclusively in Canada and winter in the United States, while resident Canada geese nest and reside in the United States.

USDA Assault on Canada Geese
While many people appreciate the presence of Canada geese flocks at public parks and recreational areas, others consider them to be a nuisance and a threat to aircraft safety. IDA advocates for humane, non-lethal population control programs rather than the USDA’s cruel and ineffective extermination regime that kills thousands of Canada geese each year. Culling does not solve the issue of overpopulation since other Canada geese re-colonize the newly vacant territory.

The USDA’s culling programs include round-ups of entire flocks of Canada geese at various locations across the US. The slaughter is conducted after adult geese have molted their flight feathers, their goslings have hatched, and the community is asleep. Away from the public eye, the USDA corrals the helpless geese and their young into small pens, uses plastic zip-ties to bind their feet together, and then shoves them into mobile gas chambers to be killed, or sends them elsewhere for slaughter.

USDA Wildlife Services agents round up and gas Canada Geese in Seattle in 2002

Humane, Non-Lethal Population Control Alternatives:
• Landscape Design – Canada geese prefer specific habitat features over others, especially where molting of flight feathers and nesting is concerned. In areas where conflict between people and geese is high, modifying and maintaining the landscape to reduce the attractiveness of a site to Canada geese is fundamental to reducing conflict.

• OvoControl-G – The USDA, Wildlife Services National Wildlife Research Center (WSNWRC) and Innolytics, LLC developed OvoControl-G, an oral contraception specifically for Canada geese. OvoControl-G is administered in a bread-like bait and is a safe and environmentally-friendly product that is fed to geese by hand or offered at bait stations prior to and during nesting season, which spans 10 weeks each year.
OvoControl-G does not kill the geese, it simply prevents the chicks from hatching.

OvoControl is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA – REG# 80224-5) and is available for use by city and federal government agencies, golf courses, and “pest” control companies.

The USDA WSNWRC has spent a great deal of money and resources on the development and refinement of OvoControl-G for Canada geese, yet is not using this resource.

• Egg Addling – Eggs may be coated with vegetable oil, thereby depriving the embryo of oxygen and killing it. Addling requires involvement of multiple people to locate and monitor Canada goose nests. The breeding pair must be warded off while someone else coats the eggs with vegetable oil.

• Border Collies – Trained dogs help to discourage Canada geese from molting and nesting at a target location. When a goose or a flock attempts to land, the dog chases them away. The dogs are used during key periods each year to prevent reproduction of geese at a designated site.

Culling is Not the Solution
The culling of Canada geese is widely recognized as an unwelcome, inhumane, and ineffective population control strategy for the management of resident Canada geese flocks. The physical removal of Canada geese from their habitat results in repeated colonization by more geese. This process begins almost immediately as other geese flying by notice the attractive and uninhabited territory below.

Canada geese and people can coexist peacefully in urban and suburban environments. The implementation of humane, non-lethal population control programs is a means to that end.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Claudia Alraun permalink
    August 26, 2010 2:57 am



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