MEDIA RELEASE: Water Testing Exonerates Bloomsburg Geese, Who Are Still at Risk of Being Senselessly Killed at Taxpayer Expense
BLOOMSBURG, Penn. (June 9, 2022) — In Defense of Animals and Save the Geese Bloomsburg have joined forces to oppose the Bloomsburg Town Council’s plan to brutally kill 40 Canada geese and goslings who live at Bloomsburg Town Park due to false allegations of lagoon contamination. Since the Bloomsburg Town Council refused to test the water quality, Save the Geese Bloomsburg contracted with Jonah Ventures to perform a DNA test on the lagoon water. Conclusive results from the water quality report from samples taken on May 10 detected no goose DNA in the lagoon.
The Bloomsburg Town Council has admitted that they are not scientists or experts in geese management. Yet they continually provide the citizens of Bloomsburg with false information on the condition of the lagoon and how it relates to the geese. Councilmembers have falsely stated that the geese need to be trapped and killed due to safety concerns about their feces.
Mayor Justin Hummel, Councilmember Nicholas McGaw, and Director of Public Works John Fritz have erroneously condemned the geese. Environmental concerns, including the deaths of over 100 fish at the Town Park lagoon, are now known not to be caused by geese.
“Councilmembers have been proven wrong; the problem at the lagoon is not the geese. Test results from an independent environmental DNA laboratory clearly show that the geese are not polluting the lagoon,” said Dawn Moore of Save the Geese Bloomsburg.
Councilmembers have ignored the new scientific data from Jonah Ventures and told Save the Geese Bloomsburg that they will only consult with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In most cases, geese are mistakenly blamed for water contamination when the actual source is from humans. Possible sources of human contamination in the lagoon at Bloomsburg Town Park could be the sewer pipe that runs from the pool to the stream along the lagoon’s edge, as well as the water treatment plant located in the flood zone just one mile from the contaminated lagoon.
Without external contamination sources, the geese, bullfrogs, turtles, fish, and microorganisms will be able to maintain an ecologically friendly and healthy environment at Bloomsburg Town Park lagoon.
Save the Geese Bloomsburg and In Defense of Animals urge the town of Bloomsburg to hire a legitimate team of professionals to restore the environmental health of the lagoon.
Despite public outcry and presentations on available nonlethal strategies that would effectively deal with the issue of goose poop, the council refuses to take the slaughter of geese and goslings off the table.
Residents love the geese and find great joy in observing them at the park. Many have attended town council meetings, protested the goose-killing plan, and formed Save the Geese Bloomsburg to defend these innocent and unsuspecting animals.
Despite scientific evidence showing geese are not the actual source of pond contamination and public demands to protect the waterfowl, the Bloomsburg Town Council intends to proceed with lethal measures as its adopted option to reduce the goose population.
On April 11, the Bloomsburg Town Council voted unanimously to contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to kill 40 geese in June of 2022, It approved up to $3,000 to kill them.
In Defense of Animals joined the Bloomsburg Town Council meeting on April 25 to oppose the brutal killing of 40 geese and goslings. In Defense of Animals, Save the Geese Bloomsburg, and outraged Bloomsburg residents protested the lethal plan on Sunday, May 22, at the fountain in Bloomsburg.
In May, Bloomsburg citizens protested the goose and gosling killing approved by the Bloomsburg Town Council. Photo: Save the Geese Bloomsburg
Killing geese and their goslings always involves severe animal cruelty. Geese and goslings are trapped at their most vulnerable period when they have babies and are molting, so they cannot fly. They are often placed in mobile gas chambers, a particularly cruel and painful method of killing high-flying migratory birds whose bodies are adapted for dramatic differences in air pressure. The gassing process simultaneously burns and freezes their lungs for up to 45 minutes before they die in agony.
"Geese are trapped when they're caring for their babies and molting so they 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 these birds, and many strongly oppose any goose killing. Geese are being scapegoated for the contamination problem at the Bloomsburg Town Park lagoon, and killing them will do nothing to help. It's time for Bloomsburg to reverse this absurd waste of taxpayer dollars and commit to peaceful coexistence with our wild animal neighbors."
Killings to control goose numbers are often repeated annually because they are a temporary solution. When geese are trapped and killed, new geese quickly repopulate the same area since they are attracted to plentiful resources of food, water, and shelter. Where fewer geese are desired, non-lethal strategies prevail. Options such as landscape modifications and changes in human behavior provide a permanent, effective, long-term solution that doesn’t involve animal cruelty.
The Bloomsburg Town Council has received opposition emails from more than 7,000 In Defense of Animals supporters, urging councilmembers to cancel the cruel and ineffective goose massacre. Bloomsburg residents don't want their tax dollars spent massacring geese and their families. Residents are urging the Bloomsburg Town Council to remove lethal methods from the plan and commit to non-lethal goose stewardship strategies that focus on accountable, transparent processes and public engagement.
“Bloomsburg Town Council has approved a USDA slaughter of the Canada geese in our town parks. Taxpayers, surrounding community members, and individuals from all over the country have made it clear that they do not support and do not want this,” said Lynn Schaeffer of Save the Geese Bloomsburg. “We are asking Mayor Hummel and the Bloomsburg Town Council to remove the killing of geese as an option and only practice nonlethal management strategies. Bloomsburg is our home and theirs too!”
“Bloomsburg residents are devastated that the city plans to kill beloved geese and goslings in their neighborhoods,” said Lisa Levinson, Campaigns Director at In Defense of Animals. “The Bloomsburg Town Council should identify the true contamination source at Bloomsburg Town Park and commit to coexist with the geese who have done nothing wrong. The town can even benefit from goose poop by purchasing a tow and collect machine to consistently clean up goose droppings, which can be processed, packaged, and sold as fertilizer.”
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
Members of the public are encouraged to take action to stop the Bloomsburg goose massacre:
Images of the Bloomsburg demonstration to Save the Geese, free for use with credit: https://bit.ly/BloomsburgGeeseVidPix
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
Save the Geese Bloomsburg, Dawn Moore, firstname.lastname@example.org, 570-800-2400
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
Save the Geese Bloomsburg is a group created by community members advocating for the protection and non-lethal control methods of Canada geese at the Bloomsburg Town Park. www.facebook.com/groups/stgbloomsburgpa
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