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Stop the Senseless Killing of Mute Swans Around JFK Airport, NY

October 18th, 2013 by Anja Heister

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) wants to continue with its senseless and dangerous plan to kill birds passing through JFK airspace, either when they follow their historic flying routes or when they are trying to get to feeding sites, for alleged aircraft safety.

Killing birds, whether Mute swans, Canada geese, gulls or others, does not increase aircraft safety; instead, it may even exacerbate the risk of plane-bird collisions.

After aggressively and brutally killing more than 5,000 Canada geese in New York’s wildlife refuge and city parks, the agency now wants to kill Mute Swans, despite statements by avian experts and biologists pointing out that “removing” any birds from parks, wetlands, and other desirable habitat surrounding the airport creates an ecological niche that will be quickly filled, either by the same or by other bird species.

Instead of slaughtering birds endlessly and senselessly, political power and will is needed to implement non-lethal methods, including relocation of Mute Swans (currently prohibited by New York’s State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)), and the use of proven radar detection systems and dissuasive tactics that can keep birds out of the pathways of aircraft. This type of system has been implemented successfully at the Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, and its avian radar detection program has received worldwide recognition for its impact on reducing bird strikes.

What You Can Do:

Please comment on the Supplement Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) to oppose the planned killing of Mute Swans for alleged aircraft safety at JFK airport in New York by following these steps:

1. Click here to submit your comment:

2. Copy and paste the suggested comment below into the web form – please personalize your comment if possible (5000 characters max).

3. Enter your name and contact information, and click on “continue.”

4. Preview and check the box which says “I read and understand the statement above”

5. Click on “Send your comment.”

As a supporter of In Defense of Animals (IDA), I strongly oppose the planned killing of Mute Swans as outlined in your agency’s Supplement to the Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Bird Hazard Reduction Program: John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Killing birds for alleged aircraft safety is ecologically senseless and ethically unacceptable. It also deceives the public into believing that this slaughter increases aircraft safety, when in fact, only non-lethal methods ensure long-term viable solutions.

I request that your agency makes it a priority to implement habitat modifications to reduce the flight movements from and to feeding sites. Also, I strongly suggest that USDA APHIS works cooperatively with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC), to create policy allowing the relocation of Mute Swans to private areas.

Furthermore, I request that the use of proven radar detection systems and dissuasive tactics be implemented that can keep birds out of the pathways of aircraft. This type system has been proven to be successful at the Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, where its avian radar detection program has received worldwide recognition for its impact on reducing bird strikes.

Thank you,

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