A couple of weeks ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have protected the mute swans that flock to waterways in Brooklyn and Queens. The swans are not indigenous to the area and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation considers them an invasive species. Putting forth a plan to eliminate the over 2,000 birds, two DEC officers were charged in the shooting of two of the swans last year; The shooting occurred in full view of families in a nearby park, and happened on the same day the state senate voted to enact a two-year moratorium on the killing of the birds. The same moratorium Cuomo just vetoed.
According to the DEC, the swans are both aggressive and a potential threat to other wildlife in the area, although the impact that the birds have on the local environment has not yet been established. The bill to protect the swans was sponsored by Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Sheepshead Bay). The governor has promised a revised DEC plan despite the veto.
“I would like to find this reassuring,” Cymbrowitz said, “but DEC already promised to consider non-lethal methods for managing the swans and then last June shot two swans to death upstate in full view of the public.”
The decision to veto angered animal rights groups who demanded to see the proposed revision to the DEC plan immediately.
“We will be watching the DEC like hawks to assure swans are not treated like garbage,” said Edita Birnkrant of Friends of Animals.
Via the New York Daily News