Niagara Animal Advocates Raise Concerns About Canada Goose “Round-up” in Port Dalhousie.

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.

A family of Canada geese in Niagara, Ontario community of Port Dalhousie. Photo courtesy of Niagara Action for Animals

A family of Canada geese in Niagara, Ontario community of Port Dalhousie. Photo courtesy of Niagara Action for Animals

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:

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 .

NOW IT IS YOUR TURN. Niagara At Large encourages you to share your views on this post. A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who share their first and last name with them.

Visit Niagara At Large at for more news and commentary for and from the greater bi-national Niagara region.

“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders


4 responses to “Niagara Animal Advocates Raise Concerns About Canada Goose “Round-up” in Port Dalhousie.

  1. I must credit Sheila Krekorian for photo! thanks Sheila.


  2. Sheila Krekorian

    I spoke to the farm owner personally. He did not characterize the money he is receiving to take delivery of these geese as a “donation” as was desribed in our local paper. He told me that he feeds these 500 flightless geese on his property. That seemed pretty generous until he explained he also hunts on his property.
    He told me that the geese are tagged by the Canadian Wildlife Federation and that his group “felt bad” when they shot one during hunting season last year and noted the tag. Clearly, the City is using our tax dollars to pay this farm owner to take the geese and then he is double-ending the deal by having people come hunt these plentiful geese in and around his property in the fall.
    The City is using semantics such as “sanctuary” to describe the destination of the geese when indeed the geese are actually going to a shooting range. The City minimizes the farm owners payment by terming it a “donation”. What about the cost to round up and transport? I was promised by the Mayor’s office that someone would be contacting me to “discuss my concerns” but that was 2 weeks ago.
    Seems to me that cleaning the side walks of geese poop could count towards students community service hours. I’ve had worse jobs. Why is killing the only solution to every human/animal “problem”?


  3. Gail Benjafield

    I understand that a professional letter has been sent to the St. Catharines mayor’s office, asking for complete details of this move to a place which can hardly be called a ‘sanctuary’.
    To date, there has been no reply from the office of the mayor.
    May I just suggest to readers that one might wish not to send anything to the mayor council email, as all you will receive is a generated automatic reply, nothing addressing anyone’s concerns.



    • City Councillors have been responsive…but when more details came to light, most of them started towing the party line.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s