Animal Alliance of Canada urges municipalities to consider non-lethal interventions to manage Canada geese

Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

VICTORIA, British Columbia, April 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Vernon city council’s continued efforts to use “kill to scare” tactics targeting “dominant geese” in a flock is again being challenged by the Animal Alliance of Canada (AAC) as unscientific and doomed to fail.

AAC’s Director and bird expert, Barry Kent MacKay says, “The Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) says that a ‘kill to scare’ approach will not significantly reduce goose numbers. It’s clear this proposal from Vernon lacks a basic understanding of goose behaviour and socialization.”

In 2021 Vernon Council applied to conduct a cull but had their application rejected by the CWS. Now council is applying for a new permit but is reportedly finding it difficult to find a contractor.

“Council continues to want to target “dominant geese,” but there is no ‘dominant’ goose in a flock,” says Jordan Reichert of AAC. “Geese take turns being the leader when they fly to conserve energy, but on the ground, there is no leader to identify in their general socialization patterns. If this is the premise of the City’s kill to scare program, there is no evidence to support it.”

As AAC wrote in earlier submissions, Vernon Council has yet to identify which geese are being targeted: the birds who remain in the area only during the moulting period or those who are successful breeders and moult after their young are able to fly. “What is the point in killing geese who cannot fly and reside in the area for only a short period of time?” asks Reichert.

“Vernon Council has an opportunity to implement evidence-based, non-lethal co-habitation policy that will reduce conflicts with recreational users of parks and beaches,” said Reichert. “Short-term killing projects teach disrespect for wildlife and a lack of creative problem-solving. We can do better by working with wildlife rather than against them.”

AAC has submitted a Habitat Modification manual to Vernon’s Mayor and Council but has not received a response. They are asking Vernon Council to commit to giving habitat modification a fair chance to be implemented and fully realized.

MacKay continued, “We’ve helped resolve human/wildlife conflicts non-lethally and effectively in other communities and our offer to assist Vernon City Council still stands.”

Barry Kent MacKay   Jordan Reichert
Director, Animal Alliance   Campaigner, Animal Alliance
416-809-4371   250-216-0562