New York: Make Sure No More Mute Swans Are Senselessly Killed

  • by: alicia graef
  • recipient: Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is under fire yet again for killing two mute swans and orphaning their young, just as lawmakers passed a two-year moratorium on lethal control in the state.

Over the winter the DEC became the target of public outrage after it issued a draft plan that entailed eradicating the state's entire population of 2,200 mute swans by 2050, but backtracked on its plan after thousands of people and elected officials expressed their outrage.

Even though the agency wasn't supposed to do anything without a new management plan, it went ahead and authorized the killing of swans in Black River Bay raising even more outrage from animal advocates and lawmakers who have been fighting to ensure the state's mute swans remain part of the landscape.

Worse is that they were killed as lawmakers passed legislation that would put a two-year moratorium on killing swans and would require the DEC to hold at least two public hearings and a public comment period before finalizing another management plan that would require it justify its actions with scientific evidence and prioritize non-lethal management techniques.

Please sign the petition asking the DEC to address this issue publicly and ensure that no more swans are needlessly and ruthlessly killed by your agency in New York.

As someone who is concerned with animal welfare and the fate of New York's mute swans, I was horrified to learn that swans were killed by "wildlife specialists" with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in broad daylight in front of residents at Black River Bay last week. I'm further disgusted to learn that the two who were killed had young who have now been orphaned and left to fend for themselves.

Even more offensive is that these swans were killed just as the state was passing legislation that would place a two-year moratorium on lethal control methods for mute swans. Even though it hadn't been signed into law yet, the elected officials and the public were clearly under the impression that no swans would be killed before the DEC published a new management plan, which it has obviously not done yet.

I sincerely hope you will address this issue publicly and ensure that no more swans are needlessly and ruthlessly killed by your agency in New York.

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