BEVERLY (CBS) — The Beverly Police Department said Wednesday that they had hired a private contractor to remove Canada geese from their public parks and take them off site to euthanize them.
But the department did not confirm or deny a Salem News story that reported part of the plan involved then sending the goose meat to homeless shelters.
“Geese pose a public health concern for our children, families and senior citizens,” Beverly Mayor Michael Cahill said in a statement Wednesday. “The City has contracted to safeguard against these risks humanely, to ensure our parks remain clean and safe for the public to enjoy.”
Beverly Police said in their statement that the decision to hire the contractor was made because the amount of feces the geese leave behind was a health risk.
“One single goose can defecate approximately once every 20 minutes and up to 1.5 pounds per day,” the statement read. “Goose fecal matter can contain various viruses, bacteria, and parasites. The potential exists that these can be transmitted to humans if contact is made with the fecal matter.”
The Beverly Police Department didn’t address the allegations in the Salem News that the animals were then used to feed the homeless, but said in their statement, “According to the contractor, the bi-product of the animals are often times donated to various organizations in need.”
Police said the contracted organization, which is also working for several other municipalities in the area and throughout Massachusetts, adhered to USDA and Massachusetts Fisheries and Wildlife regulations.
“The animals are humanely captured using net propulsion devices and then taken off site where the animals are humanely euthanized,” the statement read.
Nobody likes what the geese leave behind–but area residents were not in agreement over how far was too far in dealing with the problem.
“I don’t have a problem with them capturing the geese,” one Beverly resident told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens. “Euthanizing … I don’t know if it’s our right or not. I don’t believe in it for most animals. I wouldn’t have a problem with the geese not being here, though.”
One man said the geese had a right to be on those fields and in those parks. When confronted with the fact that they make a mess, he said, “So do dogs.”
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports