In Scarsdale, feathers ruffled by plans to kill geese — and feed them to needy

SCARSDALE, N.Y. (PIX11) — Here’s the problem.

Village officials say a number of people complained about these Canada Geese. They say they’re tired of stepping around the droppings, and some even say the birds have attacked.

“There were incidents of geese being aggressive at that location with residents, one time a child and one time an adult, when they get too close to the nest,” said Jason Marra of Scarsdale Parks and Recreation.

So after considering several options to deal with the over population, the Village board voted unanimously to partner with the U.S.  Department of Agriculture.

Under the agreement starting in March the USDA will kill all of the geese that call the Audrey Hochberg pond home, and donate the meat to a local food bank.

Once the geese are gone the village would prevent other birds from making a home at the pond.

“Hopefully we can look into other ways to get the hazing process done and when other geese come in those can be removed by other methods,” Marra said.

While village officials say the culling would only be a one-time thing, animal rights activists say if they kill these geese it would only lead to a cycle of slaughter.

“So you’re guaranteeing that Scarsdale tax dollars will be wasted year after year on rounding up, which is a brutal process, stuffing into crates, either gassing to death or shooting to death these beautiful geese and their babies,” said Edita Birnkrant of Friends of Animals.

Now some bird lovers have started a petition to stop the plan from moving forward.  So far they’ve collected more than 400 signatures urging the Board and Mayor to overturn the decision.

But this is not the first time Canada geese have been killed as part of the USDA program.

Last year Westchester County participated in the same program and donated the meat to the Food Bank for Westchester.

While the food bank administration would not comment on the killing, they do say the meat was put to good use.

In a statement spokesperson Jeanne Wilcox told us: “Protein is expensive to purchase, so we are happy to accept any donation of good protein, and goose is good protein.”

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