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Urging Governor Cuomo to Save the Mute Swan Population

July 14, 2014 | Mute Swans

Senator Avella and Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz urge Governor Cuomo to sign their legislation to save the majestic birds from impending eradication by the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)

ALBANY, NY— State Senator Tony Avella and Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz are calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign into law their legislation to establish a two-year moratorium on the Department of Environmental Conservation’s controversial plan to eradicate all wild mute swans in the state by 2025 and declare them a “prohibited species.” The bill will also require DEC to demonstrate that actual damage to the environment or other species have been caused by the mute swan population across the state.

This legislation (S.6589A/A.8790A) passed both houses of the Legislature with an overwhelming majority. 

Unfortunately, mere hours before the Senate’s passage of the bill, three plain clothed DEC agents in an unmarked boat shot two mute swans near the Black River Bay.  Both Senator Avella and Assemblyman Cymbrowitz immediately blasted DEC’s actions and reached out to the commissioner for a full explanation of what occurred. 

“The facts do not support DEC’s plan to eradicate these beautiful creatures,” stated Senator Avella, Vice Chairman of the Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee. “With the passage of my bill, I think it is now quite clear that DEC’s careless plan to eradicate the entire mute swan species entailed too many questions and not enough answers. These birds have been around for decades and the population is estimated at only 2200. How can they be a threat to society? This has been a huge issue for the State of New York and I am glad that we will now have the time to properly examine and hopefully change this plan with legal protections that prevent harm to the swans and allow New York residents to live in harmony with these treasured birds.”

Assemblymember Cymbrowitz, a member of the Assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee, said the swans are as iconic to his shorefront Brooklyn community as the Brighton Beach boardwalk and Sheepshead Bay fishing boats. He said the people of his district, including many who are well-versed in the daily struggles of non-native residents, feel a kinship to the plight of the immigrant species and have embraced the cause of saving the beleaguered swans. “We know all too well the challenges that make acceptance difficult in a new and sometimes unforgiving land,” Assemblyman Cymbrowitz said. “Is this really the appropriate way to treat each other?”

The signing of this legislation into law would serve as a major victory for animal rights and environmental protection groups who have rallied alongside Senator Avella against DEC’s plan immediately after it was introduced last year, namely Friends of Animals and the League of Humane Voters.

Assemblyman Cymbrowitz’ pro-swan advocacy has also attracted the attention of animal advocacy organizations like GooseWatch NYC, the Regal Swan Foundation and Save Our Swans. 



these precious animals didn't do anything wrong and they need to be saved and left alone

Really?! You are okay with sanctioning the obliteration of these beautiful birds! Please do not allow the unnecessary extinction of yet another species.

This action of slaughtering geese is an act against nature. We are supposedly more evolved than this. You will not get my vote if this slaughter keeps up.

There's Enough Animal Cruelty going on in this World! Please help protect at least 1 breed of Animals .. WE ARE THEIR VOICE!

Rather than slaughtering these beautiful Swans, maybe ridding ourselves of useless jack booted political hacks be the better answer. Your vote.. (whatever it's worth?)

This is an absolute outrage! Stop the murder of these beautiful, peaceful creatures!!!!!

I really do not understand what the issue is with the Mute Swans. They are lovely intelligent animals that do not deserve to be slaughtered! I have had the same set of Mute swans where I live for 6 years and in no way have they been damaging to the environment.

I have had the same set of Mute Swans where I live for 6 years now. They nest with the Canada Geese and ducks and have in no way damaged the environment. This is just an excuse to eradicate and animal that is now considered not to be a native species. These animals have been here for hundreds of years. Stop the slaughter!

precious swan species preserve and protect it should be obvious!!!

this is crazy!
Please save the swans!

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