Saturday, July 20, 2013

Goose Feathers Hitting the Fan and USDA's Feet to the Fire

Who would ever think a little guy like this would become object of controversy and upheaval?
Many significant events over the past few days.   For USDA WS, the feathers are hitting the fan.

Most groundbreaking is this Editorial from the NY Times this past Wednesday:  

While the Editorial does not focus on WS goose carnage around the country and there is some factual error in terms of animals USDA WS has actually killed (They kill five million animals a year, not the "2 million" over 12 years cited in the piece), it nevertheless holds USDA WS's feet to the fire in terms of question and criticism.

And from that standpoint alone, the Times Editorial is one of the best breakthroughs we could have hoped for.   This is, after all not a group of Animal Rights activists or HSUS or some small town newspaper demanding scrutiny and investigation of the USDA. It's the New York Times, one of the most prestigious newspapers in the country!

It is important that all who care about protection of geese and all other wildlife systematically and secretly massacred by USDA contact their Congressional Representatives demanding hearings, investigation and oversight of USDA WS, as well as to send a praising letter to the NY Times.  ( )

Also, highly significant this week, is this masterful Op Ed published in The New York Daily News and written by Jeffrey Kramer of  (27) GooseWatch NYC:

The Op Ed is excellent and like the Times Editorial, groundbreaking.  It hits so many of the salient points (especially, intellectual and philosophical).  Please take a moment to post grateful comment to the Daily News or write a letter:  

Since goose roundups occur all over the country, there are the very human aspects to emphasize, namely the emotional toll such clandestine carnage takes upon community residents -- including children and the elderly -- who love their geese.

There is also the aspect of federal government overstepping bounds and secretly "invading" public parks or college campuses for wildlife massacres. 

What do mothers tell their children, who after delighting in feeding and naming geese visit a park one day to find all of the waterfowl gone?  Should mothers lie to their children? Or do they say,  "Sorry, honey, the federal government came at dawn to round up and kill the geese."

And what about the college students such as those at Chattanooga State College in Tennessee who recently showed up for class one day to find all of the 100 geese who had been gracing campus grounds for years gone?  What kind of message was that to send to our nation's young people and future leaders?

That it is OK to capture and kill wildlife for human convenience?  That its OK to mislead and lie about such carnage (as the College President asserts he was mislead by USDA)?

This is a campaign not just for NYC "bleeding heart or intellectual liberals" so to speak. Nor is it a campaign necessarily of Animal Rights   Rather, it is a campaign for basic human decency and celebration of American values, among them, government transparency, independence, government "of the people, for the people and by the people" and finally respect for and protection of children, wildlife and the environment.

 Personally, I don't believe the goose and wildlife issue to be one of political or regional limitation.   It transcends religion, race, age, region or political affiliation. In the end it is all about human decency and government transparency.

The fact is, USDA expects New Yorkers to be "upset" with goose roundups.  What has to be of concern to WS now is the backlash they are getting in the south, the Predator Defense organization in the west and two Congressional Representatives (one a Republican, the other a Democrat) calling for hearings.

And then there is the NY Times Editorial and Kramer's exceptional Op Ed in the Daily News.

USDA may have killed another 1,000 geese in New York City this summer.

But, they might well have killed the geese who laid the golden eggs for them.

"Overkill," indeed.

The feathers have hit the fan now.  -- PCA