Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gov't Sanctioned Slaughter of Canada Geese

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is at it again, spending taxpayer money to exterminate wildlife who are deemed nuisances to industry, farmers and residents. This time, the USDA approved the gassing of 133 Canada geese in Mount Laurel, NJ, because they were annoying residents. Sadly, exterminating animals does not fix problems of cohabitation, but instead, encourages the demonizing and maltreatment of animals, as was tragically demonstrated last weekend.

A month following the township-approved gassing, hatred for Canada geese was made evident when authorities found more than 18 geese and wild ducks slaughtered at a local pond. According to the Mount Laurel police chief, many of the birds appeared to have been beaten and shot in the head after being chased into a parking lot.

Many township residents are justifiably outraged. In Defense of Animals (IDA) has pledged a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the latest slaughter.

When authorities treat animals - in this case, Canada geese - as pests and send the message that cruelty (gassing) is acceptable to control animal populations, how is it that they expect others to treat these animals as anything more than an annoyance? Quite frankly, I don't see any difference between the township-approved gassing and the vigilante slaughter. Murder is murder!

According to Dr.'s Grandy and Hadidian in their article, Making Our Peace with Canada Geese, humans are the problem, not geese. In their article they discuss how, in just over the past 30 years, humans have interfered with centuries of coexistence with Canada geese, and offer simple methods for resolving our conflicts that don't involve extermination.

It seems to me that humans are the true pests and invaders. We, who extol the likes of shows like "19 Kids and Counting," are destroying resources, polluting the planet, and killing anyone who gets in our way. It is human avarice and arrogance that has us pointing the finger at others - birds, deer, wolves, bears, etc. - instead of looking at our own contributions to the problem. Shamefully, our modus operandi is to scapegoat every other living creature and make them pay with their lives for our own frustrations and our own out-of-control population.

Click here to view a short video about the Canada Geese slaughter in Mount Laurel.

Photo courtesy of Steve Salt and HSUS.

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