START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
2,560,628 people care about Environment & Wildlife

Mute Swan Parents Killed in New York, Despite Promise of Protection

Mute Swan Parents Killed in New York, Despite Promise of Protection

New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is under fire yet again for killing two mute swans and orphaning their young, just as lawmakers passed a two-year moratorium on lethal control in the state.

The swans were killed last Tuesday in Black River Bay when residents spotted an unmarked boat before shots aimed at the two parents were fired, leaving witnesses both angry and worried about the fate of the babies who were present at the time.

According to local news reports, residents who followed the shooters, who were at first thought to be poachers, later identified them as “wildlife specialists” who were working for the DEC.

In a prepared statement it gave to a local television station, the agency defended its actions, saying it was “carrying out a long-standing protocol to manage this invasive species that threatens other species in this sensitive habitat.”

The latest incident has sparked more outrage from animal advocates and elected officials who have been fighting to ensure the state’s mute swans, who have been present since they were brought here in the 1800s, would be protected from exactly this type of harm.

Over the winter the DEC became the target of public outrage after it issued a draft plan that entailed eradicating the state’s entire population of 2,200 mute swans by 2050, claiming that they’re an invasive species who pose a threat to native wildlife and are aggressive toward people.

Later, after receiving thousands of letters, comments and signatures on petitions it backtracked on the plan and said it would hold off on killing any swans and consider non-lethal methods to achieve its management goals before releasing another plan.

Meanwhile, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz and Senator Tony Avella introduced legislation that would have put the state’s plan on hold. Their legislation put a two-year moratorium on killing swans and would require the DEC to hold at least two public hearings and a public comment period before finalizing another management plan. It would also require the agency to justify whatever its plan is with scientific evidence and prioritize non-lethal management techniques.

In a victory for swans, their legislation passed this week and lawmakers are now outraged that the agency’s employees violated the understanding that no swans would be killed. Senator Avella sent a scathing letter criticizing the agency for allowing employees to senselessly, and mercilessly, kill swans in front of residents who were out to enjoy the water that day, further writing that, “The fact that these killings were carried out after DEC agreed to revise their ‘eradication plan’ and present it for another public hearing, is even more shameful and most definitely warrants an immediate investigation.”

Assemblyman Cymbrowitz also blasted the state for its actions in a statement: “Even without the moratorium being signed into law, the implication was that DEC would stand by its good-faith promise and keep the swans off death row until further notice. Instead, we’re getting a clear indication that DEC can’t be trusted and still plans to engage in the sanctioned killing of mute swans.”

Now both officials are calling on the agency to apologize and explain why it thought it would be okay to go ahead and kill swans even though no new management plan has been released and there was an understanding that none would be harmed.


Please sign and share the petition asking the DEC to publicly justify its actions and ensure no more swans are harassed or killed.

Read more: , , , , , ,

Photo credit: Thinkstock

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it


+ add your own
8:07PM PDT on Sep 14, 2014

Petition signed and shared to a lot of people!
The DEC should be totally ashamed of themselves!

3:38PM PDT on Sep 14, 2014

Such beautiful birds — wish we had them in Montreal. In which way are these swans a problem? Sounds like another case of human intolerance.

1:34PM PDT on Aug 2, 2014

Carol P. sounds like she would be happy if her children were killed. What a disgusting comment.. I'd like to hear how Carol P. has done a single thing for the environment.. of course not. Just keep quiet and stop advocating slaughter for self-gratification, which is the only reason you'd want it.

1:32PM PDT on Aug 2, 2014

These "conservation" sadists are terrorists, pure and simple. They belong in the same class as "Fish and Wildlife Services". They are domestic terrorists who should be treated as such.

8:07AM PDT on Jul 5, 2014

I am so pissed off with the so called wildlife services. There was a 2 year hold on killing them to find a better way. Who ever gave the order to MURDER the two Swans NEEDS to lose their job !!!!! And what happened to the babies ???

10:15PM PDT on Jul 4, 2014

The people working in this "conservation service" are full of crap. I believe conservation has absolutely nothing to do with "killing or destroying" life. Shame on the people who ordered and carried out this act of killing these beautiful creatures.

I signed the petition. I hope they close whatever loop hole which allows these "environmental conservationists" to dispose of the wildlife they are supposed to be protecting.

9:08AM PDT on Jul 4, 2014

sadly noted

3:44PM PDT on Jul 1, 2014

Curious how agencies which slaughter wildlife are called 'Dept. of Enviro. Conservation' or 'Federal Wildlife Services'.

Conservation? "Service"?? It's the slaughter of thousands of animals at taxpayer expense, no less.

12:23PM PDT on Jul 1, 2014

what can i say . what stupid stupid peabrained thickos!! how do they get the jobs! such unnecessary tragedy! you IDIOTS!

7:16AM PDT on Jul 1, 2014

I meant mute in my previous comments. I was extremely furious that I can't think straight but I really hope the 3 bastards will have to pay for the evil deeds. What goes around comes around.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

It takes time to gain an animal trust, but fortunately, this Young woman d not give

Women are a minority in the armed forces and in the veteran community, so sometimes their needs don't…

ads keep care2 free

more from causes

Animal Welfare

Causes Canada

Causes UK


Civil Rights


Endangered Wildlife

Environment & Wildlife

Global Development

Global Warming

Health Policy

Human Rights

LGBT rights


Real Food

Trailblazers For Good

Women's Rights

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.