A Commentary by Catherine Ens, Niagara Action for Animals
Posted June 20th, 2016 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – Niagara Action for Animals sent ‘modification packages’ to all City of St. Catharines Councilors last year talking about ways to deal with the Canada Goose population rather than re-locating them.
The packages included case studies, annotated bibliographies, 18 articles and studies cited, five source books with modification plans and management documents.
The City has made some minor efforts to deal with the geese, but it seems to me, they have not followed up effectively nor used the modifications to their full effect. For example, although the corporate report suggested ‘no-mow’ strips, the city stopped doing this because it ‘looked messy’.
Moving the geese is really not a long term solution. Where there is food (especially tender grass shoots on mowed lawn areas) AND public feeding, other geese will continue to come and fill the niche left by those animals who were relocated. The older geese will come back to St. Catharines, if they manage to escape the hunter’s gun in Amherstburg.
Has any work been done to actively petition and follow up with private property owners to do ‘oiling’ of eggs on residents properties?
Very young geese were in the parks at the time of the round-up (see attached photo taken the weekend of the 5th of June) and still dependent on their parents, who kept an ever watchful eye. What became of these small birds if their parents were “rounded up” and shipped and the goslings were left behind?
As concerns about geese/human conflicts seem to occur at specific times of year and dogs and other methods were used successfully on those occasions, then why not continue to use these methods to deter geese during weekends or special events, etc., until long term modifications are in place. The City itself suggested that cleaning of feces from walks could be done at these times.
I and several others have been told via phone and email communications from the Mayor’s office and from City staff that these animals were being sent to a wildlife ‘sanctuary’.
The public, including myself, understand sanctuary as a safe place.
The geese were sent to a farm – the farm name/address supplied by the Mayor’s own office and City staff. We have followed up on this and the very person who owns the farm, in Amherstburg, readily admitted he hunts on his property and invites others to do so as well. And the Lake Erie Club Men’s Club hunt in the marshes, a mere eight minutes drive from the property (and it would appear from satellite mapping that the farm also abutt those very marshes). I am confused by the fact that Amherstburg, an area known for cash crops of wheat and corn, would be considered a welcoming place for 500 geese, by people who make their living from such crops.
I have asked for transparency on this issue and it is not forthcoming.
Let’s try to get some honesty on this issue and let’s encourage the city to do more to modify the geese habitat rather than shipping them away. Here, is the list of city councilors and mayor: https://www.stcatharines.ca/en/governin/mayorcouncil.asp
About Niagara Action for Animals – Niagara Action for Animals is a non-profit, all volunteer charity devoted to ending all forms of animal cruelty through education, direct action and legitimate protest.
For more on NAFA and its animal advocacy efforts click on – http://www.niagaraactionf .
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