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.”

Geese have caused problems at a Beverly park. (WBZ-TV)

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

Comments (5)
  1. This is completely unnecessary – if Boston would use humane population control methods and management, which they obviously did not do – the goose numbers would be at a satisfactory level. If you have water, you are going to have waterfowl, so you are never going to have none. The claims of their dropping being harmful are pure fabrication. Waterfowl eat grass, their droppings are as clean as it is possible for any animal’s to be and completely symbiotic with their environment, in fact, actually beneficial. That’s why the grass looks so nice. Let’s see hospital records of how many people were hospitalized because of issues with goose poop – I’ll tell you what you will see – NOTHING. They could EAT a good turn and STILL not get sick.

    Furthermore, this is after summer moulting season so these geese will be captured by being drugged and then they will be gassed, a horrific NON HUMANE procedure that literally burns them up from the inside and they can take 45 minutes to die, because of the anatomy of waterfowl. That is why this will be done offsite – they don’t want anyone to see this.

    A full grown goose leaves barely 1 pound or less of poop a day, not the phoney claim of the article. This could easily be scooped up by volunteers or community service programs and turned into fertilizer.

    Within a month of this slaughter, new geese will have come in to take the place of the killed ones. you are not going to get rid of geese by killing. But what you WILL do is set up a VERY LUCRATIVE annual contract for the USDA or killing organization. Live geese don’t make money but killing them makes literally MILLIONS of dollars of YOUR TAX MONEY. The local government which knows nothing about geese at all makes false claims about geese to get communities terrorized about bogus health scares so they will be onboard with the killing. They count on no one caring enough to stand up for this.

    This could all be avoided with a combination of simple, non-lethal management modalities which have been successful in many other communities, places that got tired of being shafted for money for killing year after year and finally woke up.

    SHAME on Boston for this despicable, short-sighted and cruel BAD decision.

  2. If you want to talk about truly dangerous and toxic animal fecal matter, look to feral cats and to a lesser degree, dogs. Goose droppings are totally harmless compared to these, yet no one would ever even propose killing dogs or cats.

    Despite scare tactics and efforts to try to create a scare, there has never been any instance anywhere of anyone ever getting sick from a goose. Even E. Coli has been proven to form without a human or animal host and virtually NEVER from a goose in any case.

    Landscape modification, drone management (very successfully done in Canada) and several other methods easily get geese under control.

  3. Posted for Brenda Gruber of Mondovi Wisconsin, who is unable to post:

    When will humans ever learn that all living things belong in the circle of life? If we just took the time to look to solutions versus wanting to eliminate what some see as problems, life would be so much more valued.

  4. As for the geese being donated to food pantries, most won’t take them because required toxin testing is cost-prohibitive. Despite what you are told about geese being donated to the poor – they are almost always thrown in landfills. This is used as a ploy to get people onboard with killing the geese – by making it sound as though the killing is made acceptable because the geese are at least going to a charity.

    This is about as much of a charitable act as a murderer donating the organs of his victims to a transplant lab.

    This is from a veterinarian who has investigated this issue:

    The publicizing that Canada Goose meat is used to feed the poor ( quasi act of “charity”) is simply propaganda spread by state agencies that continue to violate their own laws:

    1. Meat inspection laws prohibit slaughterhouses that hold a POULTRY LICENSES from taking in and slaughtering wild caught geese.

    2. Poultry is defined by the fact that the birds destined for slaughter were raised under “controlled conditions”, that is, on a farm or otherwise known environment.

    3. These restrictions were implemented to prohibit “clean” slaughtering facilities from processing animals that may carry unknown contaminants and bacteria that are hazardous to humans.

    Such contaminations are almost guaranteed to happen where wild Canada Geese are slaughtered and meat-grinded (!) , using the same facilities and machines that are also used to process meat from farm animals ( meat grinders are hard to clean and disinfect as it is.). Wild waterfowl naturally harbors a large spectrum of potentially harmful bacteria/toxins on their feathers and/or skin surface because they frequent dirty ponds, streams and other human-contaminated water sources. When their meat is put through a grinder to create “goose burgers,” all of these bacteria and contaminants will enter the muscle fibers and the bacteria explosively multiply in such environment.

    4. USDA only tests a very small fraction of goose meat for toxins, e.g. lead, mercury etc. BUT NO BACTERIAL SAMPLES and CULTURES are tested. Needless to say, lucky the customer who buys “hamburger patties” or sausages from such a facility that illegally processed Canada Goose burger the day before.

    The above is intended to present a short explanation as to where the truth lies, I could go a lot further with this and it would get a lot more disgusting-no kidding. I did a lot of work investigation this criminal conduct of some agencies. When I looked into the actual use of goose burgers at a local food bank that was praised as feeding the homeless I learned that: a) they received only a small fraction of the geese that were massacred and b) there was basically no demand for goose meat, that is, people in need had basically no interest to receive meat from massacred wild geese. It is also a fact that some people died of complications from infections with enteric bacteria in Wisconsin. The agencies in charge were never able to determine the source….what a surprise! These victims were not homeless and included young children, so they did not knowingly consume goose burgers. Off course, there are many possibilities and one of them is that they consumed products from a contaminated facility.

    As for claims of health risks from goose poop? This is another propaganda item designed to scare people and cover up illegal government actions. Unless: do these people eat raw goose poop?

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