While we wait this critical information, I want to provide an update on where we stand now that the NYC round ups, at least unofficially, seem to be behind us.
The Facebook page For the Love of the Geese in Prospect Park has helped keep everyone in touch, even in far away places like Washington State, Wisconson and Virginia, where USDA goose round ups are also taking place. The battle that reached our shores in Brooklyn, NY, was in fact, the tip of the iceberg, goose round ups are happening across the country. However, we can be a powerful force pushing back. Our goal is that the efforts begun in a small community in Brooklyn will spread across New York City and ultimately, the country.
Stay tuned for another update once we are blessed with the official death count from the USDA report.
When questioned, "What happened to all the geese?" park officials initially claimed the birds "flew to Jamaica Wildlife Refuge." But, park goers in the know realized that molting geese and their babies could not fly. They immediately notified the NY Times and following investigation, the NY Times broke the story which later went national:
For the love of the geese in Prospect Park (92)
In the spring of this year, the DEP and USDA announced that NYC geese would be "processed" in Pennsylvania and sent to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. But, we are having difficulty confirming what appeared to be a public relations ploy on the part of governmental agencies in response to criticisms last year of NYC geese ultimately being dumped in landfills. Goose meat donated to the food bank apparently doesn't carry a label of source or origin. Moreover, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank claims the meat is toxicity tested by the USDA. But, the USDA claims it is the state that has the responsibility for testing the slain geese for possible toxins. If and when we are able to determine what slaughtering plant the geese were actually sent to and who specifically "tested" them (and for what) it is anticipated that we will know the final disposition of the geese. But, for the moment, this is still very murky and unclear. It is an investigation in progress.
We have to be prepared early next year to challenge the USDA on its repeated goose numbers quotes. Should the USDA numbers be accurate (and we sincerely doubt they are) then that seems to point to evidence that the goose killings are totally ineffective in "reducing" goose population. We can then point to places like Central Park, that for years, has been utilizing non-lethal methods like habitat modification and Border Collie chasing to successfully manage and keep goose populations in check.