That’s right – the Prospect Park geese are making headlines once again! After huge protests and outcry from local residents about the city’s mass slaughter of geese at Prospect Park last summer, the Department of Environmental Protection has decided that instead of dumping the bodies in a landfill, this year’s captured geese will be sent to Pennsylvania, where they will be slaughtered and distributed to food banks to feed the hungry. What do you think? Is this a better solution or is exterminating the geese still inhumane and unnecessary?
“While this is clearly a sensitive topic, we wanted to ensure that our efforts to enhance public safety will also help those in need,” said DEP spokesman Farrell Sklerov, in an e-mail to the New York Times.
Canada geese begin to shed their feathers around this time of season, making them temporarily unable to fly. This in turn, will make it much easier for the government to get rid of the geese. The Department of Agriculture is currently surveying for geese near parks close to city airports. Once they present their findings, this year’s much-protested geese extermination will begin.
Yearly geese exterminations have been going on at Prospect Park in response to the 2009 crash of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River, which was caused because geese were caught in the plane’s engines. The city had at one point even hired biologists to help manage the geese population. However, mounting pressure and unpopularity amongst local residents to the geese slaughter, pushed council members to propose legislation that would eventually end geese control measures by violent means.
Pennsylvania was chosen as the final resting place for the geese because it already has an established protocol for processing and distributing slaughtered geese. New York State is still in the process establishing protocol, but next year, the geese will feed New Yorkers. The costs of the whole operation will be covered under a $45,000 contract between the city and the Department of Agriculture.
Although many activist may not be entirely happy with these latest development, one could argue that the end justifies the means if it means helping out those who have no food. Now, whether you enjoy goose meat or not is an entirely different story.