Thursday, March 21, 2013

USDA Wildlife Services Killing Round-Up By GOOSE WATCH NYC

Animals Killed by Wildlife Services in 2008
Starlings: Animal feed eaters, and can pass disease to livestock.
Blackbirds: Crop eaters.
Squirrels: Can attack airports, golf courses, dams, homes, pets, boats, beehives, fruit and nut trees.
River Otters: Eat fish fishermen want to fish.
Golden Eagle: Unintentionally.  

Since we got involved in our advocacy for geese in New York City, we've learned a lot about USDA Wildlife Services, the federal agency that is physically killing the geese. Back in 2010 Carol Vinzant wrote in New York Magazine about the sheer numbers of animals killed each year in the U.S. by Wildlife Services, in 2011 Mary Lou Simms revealed the incredible amount of money that was being spent by taxpayers to fund Wildlife Services, and in 2012 Tom Knudson at the Sacramento Bee documented the brutally inhumane methods of killing wildlife, and companion animals in the process. Federal legislators from California, Oregon, and elsewhere are calling for reforms and de-funding of Wildlife Services because of their cruelty, and the lack of legitimate and unbiased scientific basis for their activities. Learn more about USDA Wildlife Services on our website
"This agency has become an outlet for people to abuse animals for no particular reason," Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif.

Roundup of Canada Geese from Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge - July 9, 2012 (Photos: Gateway National Recreation Area

There's no question the USDA has suspect motives - it's a direct conflict of interest for the agency to justify its own needless killing of urban wildlife, which they directly profit from. Last summer an OpEd by Mary Lou Simms indicated in greater detail the extent to which profit, and not safety, motivates USDA WIldlife Services: Geese round-ups more about profit than poop (Fairhope Courier op-ed)VIEWPOINTS: Geese roundups around airports are for profit, not safety. On November 18, 2012 Tom Knudson of the Sacramento Bee documented how Federal Wildlife Services makes a killing in animal-control business. Organizations across the country are fighting back against Wildlife Services, and the issue is finally beginning to receive mainstream attention
“Wildlife Services -- is the USDA's dirty little secret.” Mary Lou Simms 
Yet New York City leads the way when it comes to contracting with these glorified for-profit governmental exterminators. In the four summers the USDA has been killing geese in NYC parks, taxpayers have shelled out $166,866 to date to kill 3,776 geese, which equals $44 for each goose killed. The cost allotted to killing geese in NYC parks this and next summer is $141,716. The contract between the City and USDA Wildlife Services is not currently set to expire until June 30, 2014. 

Join GooseWatch NYC
The first goal of GooseWatch NYC was to bear witness to and document the roundups that were taking place in our own parks using our taxpayer dollars, since the USDA was claiming the roundups were humane but refused to provide transparency to their actions. Last summer we got a hold of almost 300 photos of the roundup of 750 geese from Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, the first time photos like this have been made available to the public. Wildlife Services will be back in New York City soon. We're formulating our plans now for the upcoming season - our goal is to end the needless and inhumane killing of geese in NYC and you're invited to join our team of GooseWatchers - we're looking for ideas about how we can push back against and end this needless slaughter. Stay tuned for details about our next meeting. You can alsotake action now by signing and sharing our petition.

Read more about USDA Wildlife Services on our website. Help us end what has become the Annual New York City Goose Slaughter. 

Roundup of Canada Geese from Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge - July 9, 2012 (Photos: Gateway National Recreation Area

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