Denver is killing geese again

Some of the survivors on July 4, 2019 in Washington Park. Author’s photo.

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.

Those who were taken in 2019 left behind some feathers. Author’s photo.

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

6 Replies to “Denver is killing geese again”

  1. I hope you have been doing well and am looking forward to your next post.

    Good point about the backyard chicken ordinance. This sounds like a terribly misguided decision by your Council. I hope they change course.

    Historic announcement from Joe Biden yesterday. Will Biden and Harris prove insufficiently progressive to assuage the alarm of astute vegans, but too progressive to win in the swing states? Or will they hold on to Biden’s lead in the polls and find a way to succeed with vegan progressives, moderates and even some swing state conservatives?

      1. Reading the article you referenced makes me want to ban all pets but licensed service animals from my vegan utopia. Harris has served in the criminal justice trenches on some of the most vicious animal cruelty cases conceivable, and still is not a vegan? Harris also readily admits that she enjoys cheeseburgers, but she wants to limit the consumption of red meat to mitigate climate change? Is this endearing authenticity and humility on her part, or is it a troubling character contradiction? Cory Booker has served longer in the Senate, is veg, is arguably more progressive than Harris, and appears to have deeper family roots in this country. Here is a question for the African American men who demanded Biden pick an African American woman as his running mate: if Cory Booker were a woman, would he have outranked Kamala Harris? Nonetheless, I celebrate Biden’s historic selection of Harris as his running mate, and look forward to the unique public policy contributions her gender is expected to bring forward.

        1. I’m not even considering vegan vs not vegan this time around. Trump has to go! We aren’t likely to get an animal rights President until after we have grown the movement a bit more. If an otherwise suitable and electable candidate comes along who happens to be vegan out of respect for life, I will gladly vote for that person, of course.

          1. Good perspective. Beyond her animal rights record, Harris brings tremendous balance to the Biden ticket. Back during the early days of the primary, before I had researched their veg positions, I ranked Harris for POTUS ahead of both Booker and Biden. I also wondered whether it was decent for any self-respecting man to run in the 2020 Democratic primary, given the opposition party’s need to correct a historical gender injustice. Trump, for his part, does not drink alcohol. If he were veg, too, would I be more inclined to vote Republican? It all loops back to the World Health Organization and doctors’ orders. Do our overpopulation and our unrestrained consumption of animal products constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), such that birth control and plant-based nutrition are now doctors’ pandemic response orders, or no? Perhaps Trump and several Senate Republicans are correct to hold the WHO accountable for succumbing to purely political pressures from China and other countries.

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