Target: Lake Vista Property Owners’ Association in Forest, Virginia
Goal: Condemn unnecessary mass euthanasia of Canada Geese
In a move that has drawn a firestorm of outrage, the Lake Vista Property Owners’ Association in Forest, Virginia recently had federal agricultural authorities round up 66 geese inhabiting a nearby lake and euthanize them. This comes on the heels of days of outspoken public opposition, as well as offers of nonlethal alternatives from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Humane Society of the United States, and other advocacy groups. Nonlethal options included habitat modification, egg addling and hatching prevention, scare tactics, and settlement transfer. Instead, the Board of Directors of the Property Owners’ Association opted for execution.
Considering the fact that experts regard Canada Geese as highly intelligent animals with a wide gamut of emotions, we shudder to think of the confusion and visceral terror they experienced on the way to their deaths. Not only was this mass euthanasia inhumane, it won’t even solve the problem it was meant to address. As long as farsighted and nonlethal steps go unimplemented, geese will continue to flock to the lake and surrounding area; we can only hope that decision makers do not use euthanasia over and over again to combat the population of Canada geese in the area.
Throughout the country, many property owners and associations thereof deal with disruptive geese populations using a wide range of nonlethal tactics. These more humane options keep the animals safe while rendering them less bothersome to local populations; they also benefit all through keeping landscapes clean. Please sign the petition below to condemn the Lake Vista Property Owners’ Association for its mass euthanasia and demand that, in the future, they use nonlethal, long-term methods to deal with the Canada Geese population in the area.
Dear Lake Vista Property Owners’ Association:
Your organization recently organized the round-up and euthanasia of 66 Canada Geese that inhabited a lake on your property. I add my voice to the property owners, members of the public, and animal advocates who have decried your cruel, heavy-handed, and unnecessary decision. Not only did you ignore the plethora of nonlethal options proffered to you by animal advocates and local citizens, but you failed to do anything more than forestall an inevitable return of Canada Geese to the lake.
While your decision has provided a callous short-term solution, the fact remains that Canada Geese will return to your property, and soon you will again have to face the situation to which you responded so brutally. When this moment inevitably comes, I implore you to use the nonlethal alternatives available to you that keep the animals safe and provide a long-term solution to the dilemma. The next time that you are faced with this predicament, may the blood you have spilled weigh heavily on your conscience and guide you in the correct decision.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: haansgruber via Flickr