A full council statement was issued following our unravelling of Sandwell’s clandestine cull and telling our story to The Black Country Birmingham Evening Mail.
“Councillor Maria Crompton, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for highways and environment, said: “No-one would want to have to do this – but unfortunately, as a responsible authority, we had no choice but to reduce the number of Canada Geese at these two parks.
“I’m very sad we had to do this but people’s safety and public health are paramount. We have done this as a last resort and as humanely as possible in response to repeated complaints and real concerns from park users, including parents of young children.
“We’ve tried pricking and oiling goose eggs in the past to try to reduce numbers, and continue to do so, but we find this has little effect.
“With more than 1,000 geese grazing in our parks and a pair of geese rearing anything from four to eight goslings a season, the numbers had got out of control, especially at Victoria Park, Tipton, and Dartmouth Park, West Bromwich.
“A large flock defecating every few minutes can deposit a great deal of mess. They can foul lawns and footpaths and can have environmental impact on the quality of parks, green spaces, lakes and pools. The droppings contain bacteria and may be harmful if inadvertently swallowed.
“We receive numerous complaints from families with young children complaining about the mess they leave and their aggressive behaviour during the breeding season.
“The increase in numbers has had a detrimental impact on other waterfowl. We’re trying to re-introduce more ornamental ducks back into the formal parks – but before we do, we need to control the numbers of Canada Geese to acceptable levels.
“We appointed a company licensed by Natural England. Geese were taken to a discreet place completely away from public view, in line with accepted methods. Clearly, we wouldn’t have wanted people to see this happening in the park.
“We hope this action has brought the numbers of geese down to more manageable levels in these parks, making them safer and cleaner for park users, especially children.”
This statement was printed on Sandwell council’s facebook page.
MONSTROUS LIES– to kill a honking bird?
The Canada goose has lived in this country since introduced here by the land owning class who transported them here as “slaves” for shooting and ornamentation in the 17th Century. Ever since then it seems that it has been depreciated by the same set of people in the land management industry into whose ordered little anal worlds enters the word “conservation”.
The first form of propaganda towards a “non-native” species like the humble Canada is to create a series of myths about how dangerous it is, how much it costs the “precious” economy, and how it may be a threat to human health. It then follows that anything which they, the policy makers believe could be a “threat” should be exterminated- just because they think it might be, just because they want it to be eradicated. We will set out here the common myths about Canada geese and aim to educate both misguided authorities and the public about goose behaviour. There is undoubtedly a certain set of people who are out to try to exterminate all that they do not like in their God complex world.
We are offered a series of attacks on one single species in this Wildlife Trust document for example, much of which is down to human action rather than that of the Canada goose. If you read the document it appears that many different species are blamed for doing something wrong with the environment from carp to brown rats. Thus we see the conservationist in a constant spin of control, and their lack of being able to control their own surroundings.
When appearing on a BBC radio WM show, councillor Maria Crompton cabinet member for Environment and Highways attempted to try to justify the cull and failed miserably to explain what death sentence she and her colleagues had actually passed on the geese. We defended the bird against her poorly briefed comments, as well as those issued by her council spin doctors.
To listen to the substantive part of this interview click below.
Our defence of this bird is as much an issue of human psychology as bird behaviour, and we set out this case to defend the bird.