Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand Sponsoring Legislation To Cull Geese During Molting Season
In the wake of two recent incidents in which airliners have hit geese while departing New York City airports, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is pushing lawmakers to make it easier for wildlife officials to cull Canada Geese and other birds near those facilities. “We cannot afford to sit back and wait for a catastrophe to occur before cutting through bureaucratic red tape between federal agencies. We cannot and should not wait another day to act while public safety is at risk.”
Gillibrand’s (pictured) legislation focuses on the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge near John F. Kennedy International Airport. The refuge is home to hundreds of species of birds and animals, and its proximity to the airport has led to some unusual animal/aircraft encounters. In July, jets using one runway were delayed briefly while scores of turtles crossed the pavement.
Gillibrand said her bill would require the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies to expedite completion of an environmental study to clear the way for removal of Canada Geese from the refuge this summer. The goal is to cull the geese during their annual molting season, which begins in June; the geese are flightless during this time.
FAA and U.S. Department of Agriculture officials say they are taking steps to stop the rash of bird strikes.