Slaughtered geese to feed the needy
These geese aren't cooked, but some of their kind will be fed to Pennsylvania needy as part of a geese control plan in New York.
June 16th, 2011
08:23 PM ET

Slaughtered geese to feed the needy

The overpopulation of geese in New York City is going to help those in need in Pennsylvania this summer, according to a spokesman for the New York Department of Environmental Protection.

Last summer, 1,676 Canada geese were slaughtered in an effort to control the city's goose population and improve aviation safety, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report. But this year, instead of being sent to landfills, the geese will be transported to Pennsylvania and used to feed the hungry there, DEP spokesman Farrell Sklerov said.

The USDA reached out to Pennsylvania on the city's behalf since New York state does not currently have a system in place to donate slaughtered geese to shelters, whereas Pennsylvania does. "It's something the city had always wanted to do, but there wasn't a process in place in New York," Sklerov said. "We're hopeful that by next year we should be able to feed people in New York."

For this year, the city will cover the cost of transporting the geese to Pennsylvania, where they will be processed and distributed to food banks, shelters, and other places that feed those in need, according to Sklerov.

The USDA started to control the geese population in New York three years ago after geese got into the engines of US Airways flight 1549, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing into the Hudson River.

"The city's main priority is the protection of the flying public, so if there are large pockets of geese near airports we will take the same steps as previously, but if we can use the geese for those in need, we thought it would be worthwhile to do so," Sklerov said.

Meanwhile, animal rights activists still oppose killing geese to control the population. In a statement, the ASPCA said, "The ASPCA strongly recommends a combination of non-lethal alternatives in order to prevent circumstances that call for the elimination of large populations of Canada geese." They did not comment specifically on the new plan to donate the geese to those in need.

According to the DEP, the USDA is conducting site surveys to determine where the geese are and how many there are around New York City this season.

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Filed under: Animals • Geese • New York • Pennsylvania
soundoff (347 Responses)
  1. Spaced Invader

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

    June 16, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. funky bunch

    I haven't seen many in NYC but they are everywhere in NJ. I see them raising their little gosling on the median on the NJ Turnpike.

    June 16, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • nepawoods

      I was coming over the Goethals Bridge into NJ one morning and the opposing traffic was backed up for miles with one lane effectively closed by a goose WALKING over the bridge. Nobody had the guts to just run it over. Might sound cruel to some, but time is money, and the number of dollars worth of man hours wasted by that one goose was mind boggling.

      June 16, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • begoosed

      There is an Indian from the 70's (Italian Actor actually) somewhere crying in a canoe over that comment....

      June 17, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. Victor

    Never forget! The geese started this war when they tried to bring down United Flight 1549 in a suicide attack. They'll learn not to mess with us.

    June 16, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Victor

      Bah, It was US Airways, not United. Now the "Fact Nazis" are going to get me.

      June 16, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jeff Frank ( R-Ohio )

    "There you go Weiner...something very noble for you to do. See, life's not all that cruel."

    June 16, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bill Stickers

    Should be the other way around. Feed the homeless to the geese.

    June 16, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • bman

      Feed the bankers to the geese, leave the homeless alone!

      June 16, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dianne

      I agree with you 100 percent. Leave the geese alone. They dont bother anyone. I am outraged over this.

      June 16, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • goose poo

      @Dianne
      Have you ever seen the disgusting mess that is created in a park that is populated by these non-migratory geese? It's unhealthy for us and them. This is a positive, pro-active solution. Be outraged by the fact that our tampering with nature, i.e. removing the predators that would keep the population under control, is what causes this type of thing. I'm outraged there are no native coyotes, wolves or native cat species still around in NYC to do the population control they were meant to do.

      June 16, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill McStickers

      @goose poo

      Ever seen the mess the homeless make? It's far worse than what geese do. Plus, a goose will only hiss at you when you pass by, if that. The homeless on the other hand ask for change or try to wash your windshield and make it dirtier than when you arrived at the stop light. I mean, come on it's an easy answer here.

      June 17, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. Realist

    We need more geese control. I don't know why they are protected, seems like they are plentiful around Mich. So plentiful they are a nuisance in our neighborhood.

    June 16, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Worldwalker

      The protection is a legacy of when the whole species was migratory, before some of them settled down as all-year residents. It needs to be adjusted so that the migratory flocks are still protected while the resident ones are not - limiting the protection to migration season should do that nicely.

      June 16, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Scott

    They dirty up the parks in MA, largely because people feed them, despite the law.

    I have read that the taste is not very good, I am thinking our needy will not eat the meat. If they are at the places that will be serving this food, they would be used to meat that taste better.

    June 16, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. kebcarerra

    We have the same problem here in Seattle at Green Lake . The geese pollute the lake with their poop. But maybe we have a people problem also ? So many homeless live here. What to do . Hmmm

    June 16, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Corvus1

    Nasty, nasty birds, and too damn many of them. Hard to believe this species was almost extinct in the 1950s.

    June 16, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mesfin

    It is a natural way of curbing their population growth( the geese that is). The same should also apply to the deer population in the suburbs , the wood lands outside of the big cities.
    This should be implemented throughout the nation.

    June 16, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mooserman

    I find it funny that a lot of the people who want to save the geese are for abortion.

    June 16, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leon

      Not funny these people are sick>

      June 17, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  12. bman

    How about we feed the geese with the overpopulation of people in New York. Newyorkers are filthy creatures, lacking manners. If we could cut the population in the city by 50% perhaps they wouldn't have to be so pushy.

    June 16, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kerry Berger

    I think this is a great idea. These animal rights activists have the luxury of choosing whether or not to eat meat protein or be a vegetarian or vegan. They can afford the high cost of organic vegetables. Unfortunately crusader types forget that not all Americans are as blessed and that there are New Yorkers - adults and children - who are going hungry. It's the same all over this country. However, it is so easy for those who are "Haves" to close their eyes when it is convenient, or rather expedient for them to do so, irrespective of how their pontification will hurt others. I say, when there are no natural predators to control the population of these wild geese then it only makes sense to cull them and use their meat for the better good of people who are in need of food. Time to grow up.

    June 16, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leon

      I believe we humans are natural predators. Yes people please grow up.

      June 17, 2011 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
  14. bman

    Give the homeless jobs feeding bankers to the geese.

    June 16, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Maureen

    These are Canada geese stopping off in New York. Let our people (birds) come home.

    June 16, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
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