Foster City officials approve plan to kill up to 100 Canada geese

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ByJ.R. Stone via KGO logo
Thursday, July 21, 2022
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Foster City has approved a plan to kill up to 100 Canada geese due to health concerns. A method they are considering is by breaking the animal's neck.

FOSTER CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- A plan to kill up to 100 Canada Geese is moving forward in Foster City after city council members approved the plan earlier this week.

There has been growing concern over human health risks from geese droppings.

"It's not that I feel it's a health hazard, it's what we've been told based on the bacteria levels," says Derek Schweigart, Foster City's director of Parks and Recreation.

He's referring to the E. coli bacteria levels in the nearby lagoon, saying those are directly related to the Canada geese and other fowl.

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While in Foster City, the ABC7 News crew didn't have to go very far to find Canada geese droppings and that has many residents concerned.

"They've helped clean up, but they haven't helped eliminate the problem. The geese just come again and leave their droppings, and we have to tippy toe around them," said Tom May of Foster City.

Susan Russell is the wildlife policy director for the Animal Protection League. She says that killing geese is not the answer and now fears that one of the possible methods -- one that involves breaking the animals' necks -- is cruel.

"It is unimaginably painful, it is not humane," Russell said.

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The city says that method hasn't been decided yet. They must first get a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and then decide on a vendor to lethally remove the geese.

Russell says landscaping changes could be made to open areas instead of killing the geese.

"Fertilized turf grass mowed near water is caviar to Canada geese. Make your sidewalk twirly then put bushes in," Russell said.

Schweigart said that would be a massive project for Foster City, and they have exhausted other non-lethal options like strobe lights and dog hazing. Still, there are many people in the community who are against the killing of geese.

"They have to control that in a different way, not by killing the geese. They are as much as part of the environment and earth as we are. I'm very angry about this decision," said Kallol Das of Foster City.

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