More than 500 local animal rights activists are staking out parks across the five boroughs to cry foul on the roundup and killing of Canada geese, a practice they say is barbaric and ineffective.
“New York City has contracted with USDA Wildlife Services, an agency known for its cruelty to animals," said David Karopkin, the founder and director of GooseWatch NYC, which describes itself as a coalition of "animal advocates, pilots, biologists, veterinarians, policy makers, community leaders, and members of the general public."
USDA agents round up the geese in the summer when they are molting and unable to fly, so the arrival of warm weather means the advocates are stepping up their vigilance.
Typically, once the geese are captured, the adults are separated from the chicks, after which they are either trucked away to be slaughtered—in some cases, donated to soup kitchens despite concerns about contaminated meat—or placed into mobile gas chambers to be asphyxiated.
The culling of New York City geese began in 2009, largely as a response to the bird strike that sent US Airways Flight 1549 down into the Hudson in January of that year.