Vancouver Park Board Decision “Fear-Mongering” says Animal Alliance of Canada

Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

VICTORIA, British Columbia, May 10, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Animal Alliance of Canada is calling out the Vancouver Park Board after its decision to include a cull of Canada geese as part of its strategy for managing the local goose population.

Animal Alliance says the claim of the potential for the goose population to reach 10,000 individuals by 2030, from the current estimate of 2,200 is fear-mongering. Population size reflects availability of resources needed by the birds and can be reduced effectively and economically using non-lethal measures.

Jordan Reichert of the Animal Alliance condemned the Park Boards decision.

“You have a city with 650,000 people and the Park Board is vilifying about 2,000 geese for pooping on the grass. It is because of our behaviour that the geese are here, and responsible wildlife cohabitation doesn’t involve killing.”

Reichert points to similar lethal policy across B.C. in Parksville, the Okanagan, and in Victoria that fail to address the underlying issues of what attracts geese to these regions. Manicured fields, open beaches, and feeding of wildlife all contribute to making an ideal environment for geese, none of which are addressed by killing.

“The Park Board needs to realize that other geese will take their place if you kill members of this group because nothing about the habitat has fundamentally changed.”

The Animal Alliance of Canada said it will be asking Vancouver City Council to reject the funding request from the Park Board unless it removes culling from its plan. Instead, it will be encouraging the Park Board and Council to adopt a co-habitation model of habitat modification along with better enforcement of feeding bylaws and egg-addling as a solution.

Geese generally mate with one partner for life and mourn the loss if their partner is killed. To move ahead with a cull, the Park Board will have to justify the reasoning for a cull to the Canadian Wildlife Service. The Park Board could not say how the geese would be killed in their proposal.

In 2016, the city of Parksville hired a contractor who killed 484 geese, when they were moulting and could not fly, by rounding them up in a tennis court and shooting them in the head with bolt guns. This is not a method approved by the Canadian Wildlife Service.  

Reichert added, “We can and should do better for our communities.”

Jordan Reichert