Nearly 150 geese euthanized in Alabama over health concerns

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PIKE ROAD, Ala. (WIAT) — Nearly 150 Canada geese have been removed and euthanized from a suburban Montgomery community after complaints about goose feces raised health concerns, officials said.

Tanya Espinosa, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture told news outlets that the agency removed 148 geese from a residential community in Pike Road and “humanely euthanized them.”

The department’s Wildlife Services helps managed damage related to Canada geese. Espinosa said under Alabama law it was not possible to relocate the geese instead of euthanizing them.

The move came after residents of The Waters complained about the large amount of goose feces they were finding.

Robin Boutwell enjoys running in his suburban Montgomery community but doesn’t like seeing geese feces. 

“It’s very unsanitary, it never really went away until it rained, so it was becoming a health hazard. We have a beach out here that we encourage the kids to play in, but it was literally covered in geese feces,” said Boutwell. 

Jennifer Akridge, from The Waters, says they reached out to the USDA after residents complained about the effects of having 175 geese living in the area. Akridge said the USDA said there were health issues associated with having so many geese and feces on the property.

“The Waters Assembly received a large number of complaints from neighbors with concerns over health and safety issues with the amount of geese feces associated with having over 175 geese on The Waters property. The Waters Assembly contacted other homeowner’s associations across the city and they recommended we contact the wildlife experts with the USDA,” she said in a statement.

“The USDA confirmed that there are health issues related to having that many geese and feces on the property.”

The residential community asked the federal department to assist in removing the geese, she said.

“From our understanding, not all geese were removed,” she said, directing questions about the birds’ removal to the USDA.

Espinosa says there are no plans to remove more of the remaining birds.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) calls the USDA Wild Life Services a “kill happy agency.”

“Goose calls typically entails chasing down flightless birds during their molting season and loading them up on trucks and gassing them to death,” said Kirsten Rickman. 

PETA says the answer to this problem is habitat modification and repellents. 

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Aaron Nolan is a morning show co-host in Little Rock, Arkansas with Nexstar Media Group's KARK-TV. He has a passion for social media and makes it an important part of his daily routine. Click here to read Aaron's full bio.