New York Residents - Speak Out Against The Killing Of Canada Geese
At Yonkers Golf Course
Please use the form at this link (requires a valid New York address)
to contact Westchester County park officials
Golfers - please scroll to the bottom of this alert for a special way you can help!
In the early morning hours of July 2, agents with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) descended on the Sprain Lake Golf Course in Yonkers and rounded up and removed 470 Canada geese. The trapped geese were crated and trucked upstate in ninety-degree temperatures to be slaughtered, their flesh purportedly distributed to food banks.
The Canada geese, who harmed no one and brought pleasure to many, were captured when they were molting and unable to fly. Since their molting coincides with breeding season, hundreds of goslings were rounded up and killed along with their parents.
The killing was authorized by the Westchester County Department of Parks, which paid $4,500 to USDA's Wildlife Services division, to capture and kill the geese. Though USDA has not yet disclosed the method of killing, in the past trapped Canada geese have been put into gas chambers where they die a slow painful death from suffocation with carbon dioxide gas.
The massive geese removal operation happened without public approval or transparency. The justification given by the Deputy Parks Commissioner is that the large numbers of geese produced too many droppings, dirtying the golf course.
There is no justification for killing geese. There are many humane ways to control and contain populations of Canada geese without killing them. Habitat modification, through the planting of tall grasses along the water's edge of lakes and ponds, will keep geese from being able to utilize bodies of water on a golf course, in turn making the region undesirable. There are also many proven, dissuasive tactics, such as border collies or topical repellents, which keep geese off an area. Specialized cleaning equipment, which can be driven over large areas much like tractor lawn mowers, can eliminate droppings and turn them into compost, and are more cost-effective than killing, which has to be repeated when populations rise again.
Please speak up today about the killings and ask park officials to employ only humane methods in the future.
1) Personalize and submit the form at this link to send your comments to Westchester County park officials.
2) Make two phone calls to: Kathleen O'Connor, Parks, Recreation and Conservation Commissioner, Westchester County, (914) 864-7001; and Peter Tartaglia, deputy commissioner of Westchester County Parks, (914) 864-7132.
3) Humane Golfers Unite! IDA especially wants to send a message from golfers to the geese killers – this is no way to get a birdie! Because one of the most common excuses for killing geese is that they leave droppings on golf courses, IDA is seeking support from golfers who object to these massive slaughters carried out ostensibly to keep golf courses clean.
If you or a family member likes to golf, or if you have connections to a club pro, you can help. IDA is looking for golfers at all levels to help out in a variety of ways, from writing letters to the editor of your local newspapers, to speaking with your club pro on behalf of the geese, and maybe even appearing in a public service announcement. If you know a PGA or LPGA professional, we would greatly appreciate your assistance in seeking their help.
For more information or if you'd like to help, contact Barbara@idausa.org.