We learned on the news today that the city is proceeding with its plan to slaughter more geese, just as it did last year. We urge all Denver residents to protest this brutal, stupid, and unnecessary plan. Below is a letter that Kate and I sent to our city council representatives (Paul Kashmann, Debby Ortega, and Robin Kniech) one week ago, on July 1. For more details or to get involved, visit the website of the grassroots group Canada Geese Protection Colorado.
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Dear Paul Kashmann:
Once again, the city of Denver is planning to kill the Canada geese in its parks. We object to this plan. We want humane treatment of geese. Please vigorously speak out against this proposal.
In the first place, this is illegal. The depredation permit specifically states that geese cannot be killed just because they are a nuisance, and so far that is all they’ve got on the Canada geese. Secondly, they are not a disease threat. Backyard chickens, which the city council legalized in 2011, are a much greater health threat, since they carry similar diseases like salmonella but are in much more intimate contact with their owners. If the city is so concerned about diseases from animals they might want to focus on rescinding the backyard chicken ordinance. Third, this isn’t even going to work; killing them last year didn’t work, did it? It may take a while, but the geese will be back. Fourth, the city should please not give us the same excuse that we heard last year, that the meat will be fed to the homeless. The geese contain toxic substances such as pesticides and metals and shouldn’t be eaten by anyone.
There are other methods of discouraging geese or dealing with the situation, some of which have been tried but most of which haven’t. Changing the vegetation around the lake would probably do the trick. Border collies can be trained to chase the geese away. The goose eggs could be oiled. For that matter, you could investigate methods of cleaning up the goose poop as some jurisdictions are doing. There are a number of knowledgeable urban wildlife experts in the metro area.
This whole geese-killing enterprise looks like a childish temper tantrum by people upset by goose poop and wanting to kill something. Please speak out against this outrage and do whatever you can to stop it.
Keith Akers and Kate Lawrence
cc: Deborah “Debbie” Ortega, Councilwoman At-large
Robin Kniech, Councilwoman At-large