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Advocates, Scarsdale Officials Continue To Talk Geese

Although no final decision has been made yet, animal advocates and village officials continue to debate the Canada geese issue.

The Canada Geese here in Scarsdale are keeping the debate between village officials and animal advocates alive.

After word spread about the village's plan to kill the geese by the pond near the Scarsdale Library, residents, animal advocates and community members spoke out against the plan at a recent village meeting.

This week, Village Manager Alfred Gatta told Scarsdale Patch that "No final decision (has been made) yet, but we are again looking at alternatives with the hope that if we go in that direction there will be more success than the last time."

The village had previously used no-kill measures, including a border collie and noisemakers to handle the geese population and droppings by the pond, with no success.

Edita Birnkrant, NY Director of Friends of Animals, an international animal advocacy organization, said the group received "many calls and emails from upset and concerned Scarsdale residents over the town officials’ plans to roundup and slaughter the geese at the pond behind the library."

Birnkrant said she urged Gatta and Jason Marra, Asst. Superintendent of Recreation, "to adopt the non-violent, proven strategies such as habitat and landscape modification at the pond and surrounding area, in addition to adopting policies and strategies to simply clean up goose droppings and foster tolerant attitudes towards geese and wildlife."

Stay tuned to Patch for more updates to this story.

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Kim January 31, 2013 at 12:34 PM
At this point, the village officials have enough information before them to conclude that killing geese is not only a waste of life, but a waste of money because it has proven to be ineffective. What a sad thing it would be to exterminate this flock, only to have more geese come and kill every year. What a horrible, violent waste. When an array of effective non-violent strategies are presented to you, why on earth would anyone choose violence? Why is it that life is so cheap?
Patty A January 31, 2013 at 03:37 PM
Adding to Kim's excellent comment, we should also consider what kind of message we are sending to our children. That killing for convenience is OK? That killing is first option when we are "bothered" by something? That killing is the way to solve problems? One would think such attitudes are the base of what already has gone horribly wrong in our culture.
Sheila O'Shea January 31, 2013 at 04:32 PM
You have expressed the problem beautifully. I could not imagine saying it any better so will just gladly stand behind you.. P.S. Border collies are very effective. My brother got one for his facility not far from Scarsdale and it worked out very well. She was also a rescue, even better.
steve kanney January 31, 2013 at 05:35 PM
i spoke to mr gatta inthe past and he told me they tried killing the geese in the past and that did not work. so they know simply killing is both ineffective and violent. now they just need to pick a method that will work for them which will not involve killing for no reason...
Onyx Embridge January 31, 2013 at 09:08 PM
The only thing you need to do with geese is addle eggs to maintain the population. And if any community can't live with a nice number of Canada geese in a community pond, which I assume humans don't even swim in, there is something wrong with them and their community. I am so sick of this goose intolerance; my city, Vancouver, BC has hundreds of permanent resident Canada geese and I have never heard public whining about them. The city addles eggs, some years and some years not and that's it. I wonder what the hell is going on in other communities.
Eric January 31, 2013 at 09:34 PM
Shouldn't killing always be the last course of action, after all others have been tried? Clearly all other options -- most of which have proven effective -- have not been tried. Why is this debate continuing? Take "killing" off the table and get on with trying the other non-violent options. The longer this debate goes on the worse we as a community look. We are better than killing birds when other options exist.
ASteinberg February 01, 2013 at 06:42 AM
There have been many offers of help so that there is no reason that they should not be able to find a successful and humane resolution. What was really distressing is that it took a public campaign to get this so-called "leadership" to be shamed into doing the right thing. Thank God the good citizens of Scarsdale are compassionate advocates for animals and didn't let them get away with it. They really need to get more competent leadership in Scarsdale. Really - if these people can't intelligently manage geese, how can they expect to manage people? Tthis issue should never even have gotten this out of hand. Mary Lou Simms, a journalist and experienced goose advocate and expert offered to help the town deal with their goose problem; there are many others as well who offered to help.
Kim February 01, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Thanks for that perspective. This is a situation where a sense of entitlement combined with an increasing alienation from the natural world, has made "problems" where there really are none. Those of us who are fighting for the lives of these creatures are trying to problem-solve issues that would be non-issues if people had different perspectives. People freaked out about coyotes, and now there are none here and then they complain about geese. Soon it will be squirrels, raccoons, and who knows what. The town cuts down trees for fear that some will fall on power lines during a storm...soon all we will have left is our iphones, computers, and antidepressants. When you have people who are totally divorced from the natural world and view everything around them with fear, arrogance and entitlement, you have these debates, sadly.

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