Madison Parks Division has 128 geese rounded up, killed to manage population

The practice started in 2011

Madison Parks Division has 128 geese rounded up, killed to manage population

MADISON, Wis - After the city of Madison rounded up and killed 128 Canada geese this summer, the Alliance for Animals is planning a way to stop this from happening again next year. 

"There are lots of different ways that work far better than just killing them," said Mary Telfer, executive director of the Alliance for Animals. 

On June 26, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture under contract with the City of Madison Parks Division rounded up geese from two parks to be gassed with carbon dioxide. 

This is part of the city's plan to manage the goose population because of their impact on water quality, landscape damage, human and goose conflicts, decreased aesthetics, safety of aircraft and the disruption of recreational activities. 

The roundup and euthanization of geese has been happening annually since 2011, but some in the community said they had no idea about it. 

"It's really upsetting to me," said Kathleen Miller while at Brittingham Park. "I haven't experienced that there's too many (geese) but if there is and if it's too much, I think it would be great to have them relocated, not killed. For sure not killed."

The Alliance for Animals said they did all they could to try to stop the roundup this year. 

"We've offered volunteers to clean up and to drive the trucks and to buy the equipment. There's really no excuse for it," said Telfer. 

The day after the geese were killed, Progressive Dane passed a resolution calling for an immediate end to the gassing of geese in Madison, calling on elected officials to pursue legislation to prohibit the practice.

Before rounding up the geese, Madison Parks said their crews worked to plant high grass near water, oiled 50 egg nests in the spring to curb reproduction and harasses the geese with lights and decoys to get them to move. 

The Alliance for Animals believes those practices are more humane ways of dealing with the geese and make the euthanization unnecessary. 

The most recent roundup is the least amount of geese taken from Madison parks. In 2017, 208 geese were taken from five park locations. 

In a statement, Madison Parks said their "comprehensive approach is working relatively well from a system perspective. We have seen resident communities stabilize in some parks that were clearly in the out of balance category just five years ago."

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