Federal officials took 700 geese from the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on Monday, planning to gas them in an effort to reduce bird strikes at the John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport in New York. The action marks the conclusion of an ongoing discussion between the US Department of Agriculture and the National Parks Service regarding the geese.
New York Senator and proponent of the removal of the geese Kirsten GIllibrand stated, “We could not afford to sit back and wait for a catastrophe to occur before cutting through bureaucratic red tape between federal agencies.”
Advocates of the removal of the geese cite 2009 Us Airways Flight 1549 which suffered a hit from a flock of Canadian geese while departing from LaGuardia Airport, causing the plane to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River.
Both airports faced an increase in bird strikes between 2009 and 2011 from 28 percent to 53 percent. Gillibrand said, "We are finally taking action to help reduce bird strikes and save lives.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture said that the 700 geese will be gassed before their meat is donated to food pantries.
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