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Hands Around the Lake

March 14, 2011 | Hunting & Wildlife Management / Environment / Free-Living Animals / Take Action / Geese

Saturday, March 26th, 12:30pm, Prospect Park Lake, Brooklyn NY
-- Enter at Vanderbilt Street & Prospect Park SW

Call Off the Slaughter & Harassment of Canada Geese

Join Friends of Animals, New York State Senator Eric Adams, Council Member Letitia James, and concerned New Yorkers as we join hands around Prospect Park Lake, standing together in our demand for protection for Canada geese and the animal life of New York City. A press conference will precede the rally around the lake. Edita Birnkrant, NY Director for Friends of Animals, will be one of the speakers.

"We are New Yorkers who appreciate and celebrate Canada geese and demand an end to the policies that kill, harass, or chase away animals from our parks," said Birnkrant.

Friends of Animals has held high-profile protests against the tormenting of geese for the past few years. The group rallied at the Bloomberg Mansion after USDA agents' pre-dawn gassing of 368 Canada geese and goslings in Prospect Park. The incident shocked the Brooklyn community and emptied the park of the geese beloved by many.

The group presented Mayor Bloomberg's staff with its Canada Goose Habitat Modification Manual, written by ornithologist Donald S. Heintzelman, containing practical examples of long-term landscaping policies to deter geese from urban and suburban settings where they are perceived as problematic.

All told, Mayor Bloomberg oversaw the gassing of 1,676 geese in city parks throughout the five boroughs last summer. A USDA report revealed that 89% of geese observed at sites throughout New York City and western Nassau have been killed. Geese, of course, rebound. In October 2010 more than 150 geese were back in Prospect Park.

Mayor Bloomberg tries to justify more attacks on geese, claiming they threaten air travel safety. (Smithsonian scientists proved migratory geese were involved in the Hudson River plane crash of 2009-no relation to the targeted resident geese of New York City and western Nassau County parks.) What's the real issue? Goose droppings are a central matter of concern in the USDA's report.

New York City recently spent $27.5 million to restore wetlands. Yet the city spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to target geese. Said Birnkrant, "That answer is simple: Clean up after geese where the droppings are a bother, and let geese be." The current slaughter contract with the USDA runs through 30 June 2011--meaning geese and goslings once again must see agents attack them during their molting phase, when they are flightless and helpless to escape.

Desperate to help, some advocates are supporting invasive and traumatic population-control methods such as addling (destroying eggs by shaking, piercing or coating the eggs with oil); and the use of hazing dogs to chase geese from their nests. The end result would still be parks emptied of geese, observes Friends of Animals' Edita Birnkrant, who states, "Friends of Animals will always oppose these control methods just as we oppose killing."

"When humans attempt to destroy or addle the eggs and disturb nests, geese do everything in their power to defend their eggs and goslings," said Birnkrant. "Not only the mothers defend and protect eggs and babies; geese parents care for babies together for prolonged periods. These displays of emotional intelligence complement the wisdom that enables them to adapt and flourish despite the best efforts of humans to terrorize and slaughter them at every turn."

Join us around the lake for a lively and spirited rally and press conference as we celebrate and urge protection for these wonderful North American birds to Mayor Bloomberg, the media and the rest of the world.

Tell Mayor Bloomberg and city officials: Stop the killing and harassment of Canada Geese.

What You Can Do
Contact Mayor Bloomberg to oppose the slaughter and harassment of geese in New York City.

· If you live in New York City, you can call the Mayor's office at 311.
· Outside of New York City, call 212-NEW-YORK.
· Fax a message: 212-788-8123.
· Send an email to the Mayor.

Contact Edita Birnkrant if you have further questions by Email or 212.247.8120


Please call Off the Slaughter & Harassment of Canada Geese.


Its so sad to hear of this horrible act on innocent animals. Mankind has been given the beauty of all gods creatures. We need to protect them! Shame on the ones that are not doing so! To the ones that are, God Bless!

My God, what gas was used to kill the geese? All gassing is cruel, but some gases--e.g., Sarin, nerve gas--cause particularly terrible suffering. Who supervised the actual gassing? Were the geese gassed in their natural habitat or rounded up? If the former, then who could possibly guarantee that the gas would not sicken or kill other beings in the vicinity...including people? Well, let's face it, it's not as if human deaths matter to Blomberg either. So what if a woman died of labor complications (the child died too) because sanitation workers didn't bother to clear the way for emergency vehicles during a snowstorm? I guess in Blomberg's view you have to break--or addle--a few eggs to make an omelette. Let's tell him that compassion and accountability matter to all New Yorkers.

Thank you for continuing to oppose this cruelty.

When I was a child, I remember how much fun it was when my parents taught me how to feed the geese. They were considered to be intelligent and beautiful. I recently moved back and am shocked by the difference! What are we doing to our children, the animals, each other and yes, ourselves? We should feel so ashamed!!!

This is what man does, he kills animals because he can and gets away with it and it is the easiest for him, instead of using compassion and looking for other ways to solve the problems, but he forgets: “Whatever a person does to animals will be paid back to him in kind.” Pythagoras (Greek philosopher)

Dear Mayor Bloomberg: News of your deliberate gassing of the Canada geese in NYC parks has reached Laguna Beach. I would have thought the horrors of the Third Reich were behind us; it appears you have willfully revived them in the depraved actions against the geese. While your actions may escape notice in third world countries, they are ill suited to a civilized metropolis. Sincerely, B. Penney

I am appalled to read this article of the destruction of our wildlife. More and more I read about the killings of our wildlife because people don't like them, they make a mess, or they are a nuisance! Well guess what? We have people that are just as much a nuisance, are dirty, leave their trash around the parks and on the streets. What are we: a bunch of barbarians? Too much killing and not working on finding solutions that work for both sides. We spend just as much money on trying to stop this than if we worked on a plan to make it feasible for all and leave the wildlife to what they do.

Disgusted!! Who gave you the right to play god?


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