30 June 2011

Between 700 and 800 geese will be culled in New York City this summer

This year New York City officials have decided to be more upfront about its goose killing efforts perhaps to try to deflect some of the bad publicity and criticism they received for last year’s covert middle-of-the-night-maybe- no one-will notice mass goose culling.

The city announced last week that the Department of Environmental Protection will round up and kill 700-800 geese this summer and it appears that the geese in Inwood Hill Park in Upper Manhattan are among the first casualties.

The blog InTheWoodNYC.com reported that geese from the park were rounded up last Tuesday morning by the USDA and carted off in trucks. The blogger, Suzanne Soehner, who was walking her dogs at the time, attempted to scare the geese off and was told by the USDA workers rounding up the geese that if she interfered with the capture she would be arrested.

Though the city was upfront about its plans to kill geese this year, it is keeping the locations of the goose round ups under wraps in fear of interference from animal rights activists who have set up “goose watch” patrols in city parks in order to stop the extermination proceedings.

The city was also criticized last year for burying the geese instead of donating the meat to the poor. The Department of Environmental Protection said at the time that they did not know if the geese were fit for human consumption because there was no method in place of testing whether the wild waterfowl, who live in the city year round, had been exposed to dangerous pesticides, mercury and other poisons.

Apparently that is no longer a concern as city officials say that the dead geese will be donated to food banks in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania will get the goose meat because no suitable locations were found in New York State, according to the DEP.

The New York State Health officials say because wild waterfowl may contain higher levels of environmental contaminants, such as PCBs, people should limit their consumption to no more than two servings per month.

So much for brotherly love!

Robin Lawless | @robmlaw | email
Robin lives in New York City and writes about all things animal, vegetable, and sometimes mineral at her blog wildnewyorkblog.com. Visit her there to read about animal friendly lifestyles in the Big Apple and beyond. Feel free to add Robin as a friend on Facebook.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/madmcmojo