Stand Up for Threatened Goose Population

Target: Kevin Quigley, Town Board Supervisor of Cornwall, New York

Goal: Encourage Cornwall’s town board to replace its current goose-control plan with a more humane alternative

Anyone who has ever lived, worked, or relaxed near a body of water knows what a nuisance Canada Geese can be. But did you also know that these creatures “are highly intelligent, sensitive, and devoted animals who form lifelong relationships, stand by wounded flock members, and mourn the loss of their mates and young”?

Unfortunately, the Cornwall Town Board can only see the geese’s negative attributes. The board recently approved a proposal to capture and exterminate local geese. Not only is such a plan unnecessarily cruel, it is not a long-term solution. Sign the petition urging the Cornwall Town Board to come up with a humane alternative solution for controlling the goose population.

The initiative to remove geese from a pond in Cornwall is largely motivated by by the pond’s proximity to nearby Stewart International Airport, and it is a joint plan undertaken by the Cornwall Town Board and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the geese will be captured, locked in crates, moved far away, and killed. What makes the plan even sadder is that the geese will be unable to escape–they are flightless in the summer due to their yearly molting cycles.

But the crux of this “misguided attempt,” as PETA terms it, is that killing off the geese will likely have little long-term effect on the local goose population. As PETA points out on its website, “the resultant spike in the food supply will cause accelerated breeding among survivors and newcomers.” In other words, attempting to kill off the geese will result in a never-ending cycle of similar attempts to control the population inevitably followed by population spikes.

Respecting wild animal populations and controlling their effects on local infrastructure need not be mutually exclusive policies. There are a number of alternative population control strategies that Cornwall can employ. Sign the petition and encourage the town board to seek a solution that is both practical and cruelty-free.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Quigley,

Geese are commonly acknowledged as a nuisance, but they are also, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), “highly intelligent, sensitive, and devoted animals who form lifelong relationships, stand by wounded flock members, and mourn the loss of their mates and young.” This–along with many other reasons–makes the current plan to remove the Rings Pond goose population unnecessarily sad. I urge you to revise the current plan and replace it with a humane, long-term solution.

Under the current proposal, reached in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the geese will be captured, crated, transported, and killed. While this may solve the overpopulation problem in the short term, it will not yield long-term results; PETA points out that “the resultant spike in the food supply will cause accelerated breeding among survivors and newcomers.” The result? A never-ending loop of goose cullings, followed by more population growth. Does Cornwall really want to turn goose population control into a yearly chore?

Instead, I urge you to consider alternate solutions, such as controlling the food supply in the area and making the habitat less appealing to the geese. These steps will help control the population both now and for years to come.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Gidzy via Wikimedia Commons

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