Friends of Animals is challenging Colorado Wildlife Services, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and Wildlife Services for rounding up and killing 1,662 resident Canada geese from four parks in Denver and having them processed to feed the needy to solve a “goose poop” problem.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, FoA states that because the agencies failed to conduct any analysis concerning the health risks associated with consuming the goose meat, the agencies are in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act. Furthermore, the depredation permit issued by FWS authorizing the slaughter does not expressly allow processing and distributing the birds for human consumption, thus violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
“There is no justification for the slaughter of these geese,” said Michael Harris, director of Friends of Animals’ Wildlife Law Program. “Not only is this a short-sighted, ill-informed decision that won’t solve any perceived problems, officials also failed to consider the health risks associated with human consumption of birds that may have been exposed to pollutants and pesticides in the parks before they were killed.”
Canada geese mate for life and will stay together even outside of the nesting season. As the nesting season passes geese gather into flocks and congregate in open areas for the molting period. During the molt, resident geese lose their flight feathers and remain flightless from mid-June through early July. That’s when officials need to step up their efforts to remove goose excrement from sidewalks, paths and trails in parks, the best solution.
“Denver doesn’t have a Canada goose problem; officials seem to have a problem cleaning up after their feathered neighbors, which is absurd because these days it is easier than ever to institute clean-up programs because of the equipment that’s available,” said Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals. “It’s no different than cleaning up after humans who litter in parks. Other municipalities have proven its not only a humane solution, it’s the only one that works. Moreover, you can’t justify carnage for consumption.”