Jul 28, 2014
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Geese Stirring Up Debate In Scarsdale

The talks over how to deal with the Canada geese in the village of Scarsdale has taken center stage in the news this week and sparked protests.

Geese Stirring Up Debate In Scarsdale

Although many consider them protected wildlife, others call them a feathered mess.

This week, the Canada geese here in Scarsdale are stirring up quite the controversy. Add to that some face time for these webbed natives on TV and print news, two differing view points, and now the battle over the Geese has begun.

This week, Newsday, Lohud, MyFoxNY, the Associated Press and NBC 4 reported on the bird dilemma. At issue, the measures the Village plans on using to keep the geese population under control.

Boiled down, the village wants to kill the geese and use the bird meat to feed the needy, via the Westchester Food Bank, according to Newsday.com. The problem is the geese are making a mess of the pond area and fecal matter is getting into the Bronx River waterway.

Scarsdale's Village Manager Alfred A. Gatta told LoHud.com that the village tried to use a border collie and noisemakers to get rid of the geese, but the attempts failed. 

The animal advocates want a more humane solution.

According to media reports, the village would use hired USDA agents over the summer to kill the geese that live near the pond by the Scarsdale Public Library.

Protesters are speaking out online through petitons. The petitionsite.com has 400 signatures against the village's measures to kill the geese.

The petition states:
"People should sign this because animal have rights, but can't speak for themselves, and people plan to kill geese as an answer to normal behavior. There are humane alternatives, which should be considered before just "doing away with the geese" as is their disturbing plan."

The Friends of Animal advocacy group is also speaking out against the plan.

“Canada geese, a bird native to North America, should live free of harassment and harm in Scarsdale, and throughout its range," Edita Birnkrant, NY Director of Friends of Animals, said in a statement.

Birnkrant said Gatta’s "complaints about goose droppings are illogical...as Gatta could easily implement a proven plan to remove fecal matter if it's accumulating in public areas. Human litter is picked up, the group says, and residents pick up after their dogs."

"What's needed is an attitude adjustment," Birnkrant said. "Not a bloody round up and shooting project."

The Friends of Animals calls goose roundups "monstrous" and describe the USDA's process of stuffing "the bound, panicked geese and babies into crates. Next, the geese are gassed or shot to death. Does Gatta imagine such immorality is preferable to cleaning the grass?"

The group is asking the village to seek alternative methods to deal with the issue.

What's your view of this feathered controversy? Share your thoughts here.

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