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Scarsdale Gets Heat For Plan To Kill Pesky Canada Geese

Canada geese have been befouling areas near the Scarsdale Public Library, but a plan to kill the birds has drawn opposition.
Canada geese have been befouling areas near the Scarsdale Public Library, but a plan to kill the birds has drawn opposition. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Flickr user Barry 13092

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – While Canada geese continue to befoul the pond near the Scarsdale Public Library, village officials have come under fire for their plan to extinguish them in the summer.

In the past, the village attempted to drive the geese away unsuccessfully by using a border collie and noisemakers. Their current plan is to capture and kill the geese during the summer, and to treat nests to deter eggs from hatching. The meat from killed geese would be donated to The Food Bank for Westchester.

The village contends that the goose population continues to grow, and their droppings make the area both unusable and less desirable.

Edita Birnkrant, the New York director of the Friends of Animals , said the plan is inhumane, and the geese should be free to fly.

“Canada geese, a bird native to North America, should live free of harassment and harm in Scarsdale, and throughout its range,” she said in an open letter.

A online petition received more than 400 signatures from places as far away as South Africa and the Philippines in three days.

Jacob Cannon, who signed the petition Tuesday morning, said Scarsdale should find more humane ways to deal with the problem.

“Using euthanasia to get rid of the geese population is overkill and unnecessary,” he said. “If the main complaint is that geese tend to leave too much waste on public paths, it would be much better to hire someone to rake away the remnants. I’m sure we could feed the homeless by donating to food shelters, rather than murdering the geese population.”

Birnkrant argues that several methods could be utilized to handle the geese. There are machines that clean up goose droppings, and since the birds are attracted to areas with mowed grass and open sight lines, growing out grass and planting additional shrubbery would be an alternative.

“Geese pose no heath threats,” she said. “Officials must make it a policy to clean up waste matter, which hasn’t been done. Posting signs and enforcing no-feeding and littering rules are also sensible steps. What’s needed is an attitude adjustment, not a bloody round up and shooting project.”

Calls to the village manager’s office were not immediately returned.

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