A flock of animal-rights activists organized outside Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Upper East Side townhouse yesterday, outraged as geese were rounded up to be gased.
“Hey Bloomberg what do you say? How many geese did you gas today?,” shouted protesters.
For the next six weeks the city and the Port Authority are paying federal wildlife officials to trap and gas two thousand Canada geese. Yesterday the city rounded up at least 40 of them.
“The Mayor says he wishes them sweet dreams, one of the most obscene statements a public official has ever made," said Wayne Johnson from the Coalition to Stop the Canada Goose Kill. "Does he really think going into a gas chamber means sweet dreams.”
The demonstrators were motivated in part by a video shot by Geesebusters, a company offering a non-lethal method of getting rid of geese. The video shows the geese being rounded up near parks and bodies of water by John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports.
“This is there molting season so they can’t even fly so they’re helpless,” said organizer Edita Birnkrant from the group Friends of Animals.
The Mayor says the bird strike that forced U.S. Airways Flight 1549 to land in the Hudson River highlights the dangers Canada geese pose to aviation. The city also tried non-lethal ways to control the population, but it did not work.
Protesters say resident Canada geese are the ones being targeted when it was actually migratory Canada geese that collided with Flight 1549
But would it be worth it to gas the geese if it would save lives?
"It's not a fair question because there has been a number of studies that shows when you remove any number of animals from an area they repopulate," Birnkrant said.