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Mamaroneck To Consider Reworking USDA Goose-Killing Contract

The Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees will work with the U.S.D.A. to come up with a humane option for dealing with the goose population.
The Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees will work with the U.S.D.A. to come up with a humane option for dealing with the goose population. Photo Credit: Chaya Babu

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- The Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees decided Wednesday night to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to consider changing the terms of a contract that currently outlines slaughtering geese in the village.

"We will tell them that the Board is not satisfied with the clause in the contract pertaining to the killing of the geese, and we will ask them to consider other methodologies to resolve the geese problem," Village Attorney Charles A. Goldberger said. The Board is scheduled to meet with the U.S.D.A. Monday.

This came after a public hearing in which residents from across Westchester and animal rights activists spoke once again with emotion in favor of other alternatives and Trustee Ilissa Miller said she wanted to open a motion to cancel the existing contract and ask the U.S.D.A. and others to present new options that work better for everyone in the community.

Scarsdale also recently abandoned its plan to deal with its goose population in the same manner.

Those who came to the hearing to speak against the slaughtering Wednesday applauded Trustee Miller for moving the Board away from the current contract.

Kylie Blackman of the organization Westchester4Geese said, "That was very unusual for her to introduce the procedure. She was awesome. She has some guts."

While there was one resident present who spoke in favor of the killing, citing his unpleasant experience of dealing with goose droppings while playing softball and running in Harbor Island Park, the overwhelming public sentiment was that the current plans are inhumane, a poor message to children, and not even rational or financially sound.

"Killing geese causes more geese to fly in - this is science, not the opinion of animal advocates," Kim Gold said.

Many others mentioned that Mamaroneck should be known for its kindness and make it a priority to have young citizens who see and learn from that example of kindness.

"There are employers who hire kids to do work that involves abusing and harassing animals," Joan Kayser said. "You know what these kids do when they grow up? They abuse and harass humans."

Maryanne Peterson said, "People in power should come up with solutions; they should be able to handle that. Killing should be the last resort."

Trustee Miller said that it was after hearing so much debate and "poop talk" that she came to the point of wanting the Board as whole to reconsider the contract.

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