Target: New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Goal: Do not kill federally protected geese and other birds in a wildlife refuge near Kennedy airport; instead use humane and proven effective methods for dealing with bird strikes by planes.
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has recently introduced a plan for dealing with John F. Kennedy airport’s bird strike problem: mass slaughter. If her legislation is passed, geese and other birds in Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, the city’s only federally protected habitat refuge for birds, would be killed in June and July when they are molting and cannot fly. Killing geese has not been effective in improving air safety, and there are more humane, proven alternatives that must be examined.
Gillibrand’s legislation comes after two recent bird strikes in the city that, thankfully, did not result in any loss of human lives. Since 2009’s “Miracle on the Hudson,” wherein US Airways Flight 1549 struck a flock of geese shortly after takeoff, disabling both engines and forcing a landing in the Hudson River, the city has aggressively been pursuing a geese-killing program, which has resulted in the death of over 3,000 geese. But bird strikes continue regardless.
In 2011, the USDA released a report concerning bird strike trends over the past 20 years, showing that an increasing number are occurring at higher altitudes and further away from airports. The agency recommended radar systems to detect birds and deterrence strategies rather than killing them, which has not proven to be effective. Other cities around the world are using these strategies at their airports successfully, as well as employing habitat modification and birth control developed specifically for Canada geese.
Bird strikes are a serious threat to air safety, but killing federally protected birds is unethical and has not proven to eliminate the problem. Urge Senator Gillibrand to rethink her radical legislation and consider humane and effective alternatives.
Dear Senator Gillibrand,
Your recent proposal to kill federally protected geese and other birds in Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is extreme and unethical. Bird strikes seriously threaten air safety, but there are humane and effective alternatives that you must consider.
The USDA’s report studied bird strike trends over 20 years and recommended radar systems to detect birds and deterrence strategies. Killing geese was not advised as an effective solution. Other cities around the world are using these strategies at their airports successfully, as well as employing habitat modification and birth control developed specifically for Canada geese.
US Airways Flight 1549 highlighted the seriousness of the bird strike problem, and decisions on how to make our airways safe should not be taken lightly. This is why I ask you to consider strategies that have proven to be effective, rather than an unethical slaughter.
[Your Name Here]