MEDIA RELEASE: Protestors Take Over Busy Intersection to Oppose Goose and Gosling Massacre in Foster City
FOSTER CITY, Calif. (June 21, 2022) — In Defense of Animals and dozens of outraged Foster City residents descended upon city hall on June 16 to protest the Council of Foster City’s plan to brutally kill up to 100 of the 323 Canada geese and goslings who live in the city. Foster City has upped the ante on the number of potential geese killed from 10 to 30 percent on a new webpage dedicated to Canada goose population management.
Watch the video: https://youtu.be/puA3YmDJdYs
On June 16, nearly 30 demonstrators gathered on a windy day in front of city hall to oppose the city’s declaration of more killing while citizens advocate for no killing. After 30 mph wind gusts toppled the 3 ft. by 6 ft. educational exhibit showcasing non-lethal methods to coexist in harmony with geese, protestors took over the busiest intersection in Foster City holding signs and handing out materials to educate passersby.
“We’re outraged by the council’s decision to increase the number of geese on its hitlist from only 10 percent initially to 30 percent now of the current population of roughly 300 Canada geese,” Lisa Levinson, Campaigns Director at In Defense of Animals. “During our last protest, Vice Chair of Foster City Parks and Recreation Stacy Jimenez addressed the crowd to confirm plans to kill 10 percent of the geese, which flies in the face of the council’s new plan to kill even more geese. We urge the council to cancel its heartless plans to kill 100 geese and goslings in cold blood.”
On May 17, more than 50 demonstrators marched from Foster City’s Parks and Recreation building to Foster City Hall chanting “let the geese live” and “geese have feelings, just like us.” When they arrived, the bird advocates set up a pen with faux goose corpses, a smoke machine and wore gas masks to symbolize what could happen to the animals. Activists are now armed with a compelling museum-style exhibit displaying non-lethal methods to resolve the city’s goose-conflicts without killing.
“Despite the extensive media coverage appearing in 30 publications for our previous protest, Foster City has the audacity to say they’re still considering lethal removal of up to a hundred geese,” said protest organizer Erik Allen. “This does not align with what the Vice chair of Parks and Rec told us last time. The number was 10 percent of geese would die and now it’s closer to 30 percent. Going forward, we’re providing the mayor and council with non-lethal solutions to consider.”
Foster City’s “Canada goose population management” webpage cites Heal the Bay’s water quality statistics as a primary motive to kill the geese. However, these statistics show fluctuating weekly water contamination while the number of geese remains the same. A chart of nonlethal methods used reveals that the city hasn’t tried the most successful goose deterrent — habitat modification.
“Large swaths of short green grass are literally a salad bar for geese,” adds Levinson. “The council asks the public not to feed the geese while they offer them delicious green grass. Unless the habitat changes, geese will continue to fly from Bair Island to Foster City for their favorite meal. Killing these geese will make room for new geese who will be killed in an endless cycle of cruelty. We must convince the council to follow the advice of our National Goose Protection Coalition before it’s too late for Foster City’s geese!”
Goose killings generally take place in summer when the geese molt and cannot fly away. It’s also when they have their babies, making them especially vulnerable to heartless and violent trap and kill plans.
“Goose roundups are very cruel, targeting animals just after they’ve had their babies and while they’re molting and cannot fly away,” said Fleur Dawes, Communications Director for In Defense of Animals. “Gassing them is very violent and painful, and sends a terrible message to children who love interacting with the geese. Residents enjoy mental health benefits from being around the geese and many are strongly opposed to any goose killing at all. Killing geese isn’t a solution, it’s a money pit that must be filled each year. It’s time for Foster City to reverse this massive waste of taxpayer dollars and commit to peaceful coexistence with animal members of our community.”
The Council of Foster City may contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services to kill geese due to complaints of goose poop. Killing geese and their goslings always involves animal cruelty. Geese and goslings are often placed in mobile gas chambers, a particularly cruel and painful method of killing high-flying migratory birds who are used to dramatic differences in air pressure. The gassing process simultaneously burns and freezes their lungs for up to 45 minutes before they die in agony.
Goose massacres are repeated annually because they are a temporary solution. When geese are trapped and killed, new geese repopulate the same area since they are attracted to plentiful resources of food, water, and shelter. Non-lethal strategies such as landscape modifications and changes in human behavior provide a permanent, effective, long-term solution that doesn’t involve animal cruelty.
Foster City residents don't want their tax dollars spent on putting geese and their families into mobile gas chambers. The recently released Foster City 2022 - 2023 budget allocates $20,000 in 2021 - 2022 and $45,000 in 2022 - 2023 for the geese mitigation plan, which includes lethal and nonlethal methods. Residents are urging the Council of Foster City to remove lethal options from the plan and commit to nonlethal goose stewardship strategies that focus on accountable, transparent processes and allow for public engagement.
“As long as Foster City plans to kill any number of geese, we will plan to mobilize, protest, and raise awareness about unnecessarily killing wildlife with taxpayer dollars which were not approved by taxpayers,” adds Allen. “As listed in the Council of Foster City’s new annual budget, thousands of taxpayer dollars are funding this cruel and unnecessary death plan, but the taxpayers of Foster City do not want this. We are asking Mayor Awasthi and the City Council of Foster City to cancel its plans with the USDA and not allow for lethal round-ups where some of us call home. Do not take these individuals from their home! Let the geese live!”
The Council of Foster City has received opposition emails from more than 14,000 In Defense of Animals supporters, urging them to cancel the cruel and ineffective goose massacre.
In Defense of Animals’ National Goose Protection Coalition was formed in 2019 to help concerned citizens stop goose cruelty in their communities. Learn more and find nonlethal goose engagement options at: www.stopgooseabuse.org
To bring local attention to this disturbing situation, In Defense of Animals and Foster City residents are protesting the Council of Foster City’s merciless plan to kill geese and goslings because of their droppings. Members of the public are encouraged to attend this peaceful demonstration, and to take action to stop this massacre:
Images and video of the May 17 Foster City demonstration to Let The Geese Live, free for use with credit: https://bit.ly/FosterCityMay22GooseDemo
Images of goose roundups, free for use with credit: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmWfmPKu
In Defense of Animals, Lisa Levinson, email@example.com, 215-620-2130
Erik Allen, firstname.lastname@example.org, 707-695-4799
In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization based in Marin county, California with over 250,000 supporters and a 39-year history of fighting for animals, people, and the environment through education and campaigns, as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi. www.idausa.org/geese
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