Fury as geese killed at United Utilities

St Helens Star: Around 60 geese have been killed at United Utilities Around 60 geese have been killed at United Utilities

ANIMAL lovers have spoken of their disgust after around 60 Canada geese were killed at United Utilities headquarters during the breeding season.

Bosses at the company based at Great Sankey close to Bold Heath said the birds have bitten several staff and one woman had to visit her GP leading to the overnight cull on Thursday, June 26 in what a spokesman described as ‘strict compliance with a licence’.

But keen birdwatcher David Kennedy said the water giant has taken the ‘easiest option’ killing the birds and it was ‘particularly cruel’ to take action when goslings had just been born.

He said: “There were all kinds of options open to them like catching the birds and releasing them somewhere like Pennington Flash or putting up railings around the paths.

“Geese can be a nuisance but if they didn’t want that problem on site then why include two lakes in the first place?

“I have been told there are none left now but when the birds are back in five or six years what will they do next?

“They need a plan going ahead that doesn’t involve slaughtering birds.”

A petition calling for United Utilities to ‘pledge to never kill Canada geese again’ has already reached more than 400 signatures online.

One reader who did not want to be named said while some staff did not like the birds others regularly fed them and have been outraged by the news.

A spokesman for United Utilities said: “It was a difficult decision to reduce the numbers of Canada geese at Lingley Mere and we appreciate it wasn’t something everyone would agree with, but it was important we took action to encourage other wildlife to thrive on site and stop people being injured.

“Several staff have been hurt after being bitten by the birds, which was very worrying as we have a children’s nursery on our land.”

The spokesman added the geese were also ‘damaging the environment’ with bird poo leading to high levels of phosphate in the lakes and increased algae preventing pond weed from growing, which lowers oxygen levels and can kill fish.

He added: “Our aim is to increase the biodiversity of Lingley Mere and the lakes and widen the variety of wildlife here and we would never be able to achieve this with such a high level of Canada geese on site.”

Andrew Taylor director of animal rights group Animal Aid added United Utilities had to be held to account.

He added: "The company is offering no real information what measures were taken to minimise suffering.

"The idea these birds presented a threat to people and had to be killed for defecating is an extreme and absurd over-reaction."

Comments (9)

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2:14pm Wed 9 Jul 14

lawman2004 says...

This will be the same United Utilities that increases our water bills year after year in order to raise " more money to put towards protecting the environment "... laughable.
This will be the same United Utilities that increases our water bills year after year in order to raise " more money to put towards protecting the environment "... laughable. lawman2004
  • Score: 8

3:37pm Wed 9 Jul 14

singingdentist says...

Why couldn't they have brought RSPB in for advice and assistance.. One phone call and a little delay to sort the immediate problem & future problems
Why couldn't they have brought RSPB in for advice and assistance.. One phone call and a little delay to sort the immediate problem & future problems singingdentist
  • Score: 5

4:01pm Wed 9 Jul 14

StHresident says...

This is totally wrong to cull the geese. How dangerous can they be? What about there offspring, what happened to them? United Utilities taken the easy and most probably cheaper option. What an outrage. I can't believe it's not against the law. Disgusting!
This is totally wrong to cull the geese. How dangerous can they be? What about there offspring, what happened to them? United Utilities taken the easy and most probably cheaper option. What an outrage. I can't believe it's not against the law. Disgusting! StHresident
  • Score: 3

6:44pm Wed 9 Jul 14

lawman2004 says...

They refused to go on Radio Merseyside this evening and explain their actions. A brief statement talks about their ' fears over geese attacks ".. really, on a parr with the current terrorism threat is it ?
They refused to go on Radio Merseyside this evening and explain their actions. A brief statement talks about their ' fears over geese attacks ".. really, on a parr with the current terrorism threat is it ? lawman2004
  • Score: 6

10:31pm Thu 10 Jul 14

MarionA says...

It is absolutely OUTRAGEOUS to kill geese with the excuse they are biting and injuring people. Many many communities across the USA and Canada have tons of Canada geese and they are NOT attacking people.

Maybe you should ask what are people doing to them in your area specifically....hara
ssing them when they have babies, harassing them with their dogs, running at them.

How many dog bites are there in the area every year?? Dogs kill 35 people a year in the US of Azzholes and nobody goes after them. Disgusting.

And it is even more outrageous that a purported 'wildlife services' goes along with this. What kind of Dbags are they??

"Canadians and Canada geese (Canadas for short ) have a lot in common. Canadas are big and tough, but they are not bullies and are happy to live and let live"
......Dave Ankney - Professor Emeritus of Avian Ecology and Wildlife Management, University of Western Ontario

MEDIA RELEASE: Egg Addling Controls Goose Population

“In a continued effort to control the Canada Goose population in the Okanagan Valley, the Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program is about to begin its annual egg addling program. Over the PAST SIX YEARS, this program has prevented the exponential increase of the non-migratory resident goose population that inhabits the valley all year long………Since the program began in 2007, approximately 7,700 EGGS HAVE BEEN PREVENTED FROM HATCHING THROUGH THIS MINIMALLY INVASIVE APPROACH…. ….In order for the program to succeed, new nests need to be identified. The PUBLIC IS ASKED TO REPORT lone geese, pairs of geese or nest locations on private or public land.”

http://www.okanagang
ooseplan.com/?p=270

In addition to ground surveys, aerial surveys were conducted in 2007 and 2011 to estimate the number of geese residing in the Okanagan Valley and to determine what proportion of the population were hatched that year. THE CANADA GOOSE POPULATION APPEARS TO HAVE STABILIZED THROUGHOUT THE VALLEY.

http://www.okanagang
ooseplan.com/?cat=6

GOOSE STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN.

http://www.okanagang
ooseplan.com/files/O
VGMP_Strategy_Action
%20Plan_2006.pdf

The Okanagan Valley in BC is a major tourist and recreational area. The Okanagan Lake is 70 miles long. Other major industries include orchards and vineyards. The valley is as big as the state of NJ and they have a humane egg addling program which has successfully stabilized their permanent resident Canada goose population.

Absolutely DISGUSTING.
It is absolutely OUTRAGEOUS to kill geese with the excuse they are biting and injuring people. Many many communities across the USA and Canada have tons of Canada geese and they are NOT attacking people. Maybe you should ask what are people doing to them in your area specifically....hara ssing them when they have babies, harassing them with their dogs, running at them. How many dog bites are there in the area every year?? Dogs kill 35 people a year in the US of Azzholes and nobody goes after them. Disgusting. And it is even more outrageous that a purported 'wildlife services' goes along with this. What kind of Dbags are they?? "Canadians and Canada geese (Canadas for short ) have a lot in common. Canadas are big and tough, but they are not bullies and are happy to live and let live" ......Dave Ankney - Professor Emeritus of Avian Ecology and Wildlife Management, University of Western Ontario MEDIA RELEASE: Egg Addling Controls Goose Population “In a continued effort to control the Canada Goose population in the Okanagan Valley, the Okanagan Valley Goose Management Program is about to begin its annual egg addling program. Over the PAST SIX YEARS, this program has prevented the exponential increase of the non-migratory resident goose population that inhabits the valley all year long………Since the program began in 2007, approximately 7,700 EGGS HAVE BEEN PREVENTED FROM HATCHING THROUGH THIS MINIMALLY INVASIVE APPROACH…. ….In order for the program to succeed, new nests need to be identified. The PUBLIC IS ASKED TO REPORT lone geese, pairs of geese or nest locations on private or public land.” http://www.okanagang ooseplan.com/?p=270 In addition to ground surveys, aerial surveys were conducted in 2007 and 2011 to estimate the number of geese residing in the Okanagan Valley and to determine what proportion of the population were hatched that year. THE CANADA GOOSE POPULATION APPEARS TO HAVE STABILIZED THROUGHOUT THE VALLEY. http://www.okanagang ooseplan.com/?cat=6 GOOSE STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN. http://www.okanagang ooseplan.com/files/O VGMP_Strategy_Action %20Plan_2006.pdf The Okanagan Valley in BC is a major tourist and recreational area. The Okanagan Lake is 70 miles long. Other major industries include orchards and vineyards. The valley is as big as the state of NJ and they have a humane egg addling program which has successfully stabilized their permanent resident Canada goose population. Absolutely DISGUSTING. MarionA
  • Score: 5

10:33pm Thu 10 Jul 14

MarionA says...

Nothing lives in the orwellian USA but plastic people in their pink plastic disney worlds. These birds make you all look exacttly like what you are...selfish, entitled, brainless.
Nothing lives in the orwellian USA but plastic people in their pink plastic disney worlds. These birds make you all look exacttly like what you are...selfish, entitled, brainless. MarionA
  • Score: 0

11:37pm Thu 10 Jul 14

MarionA says...

Well we have a ton of geese raising families in an area there is also a large childrens market, water park, and playground. Our geese are not spreading disease or attacking children and the aged and infirm. And did I say, this is Vancouver, BC. Always on most liveable cities in the world lists, national geographic named it as one of the 10 best beach cities in the world, and Stanley Park with geese has been named worlds best park by TripAdvisor in 2013 and 2014. What is your town known for again other than killing Canada geese now?

https://www.facebook
.com/media/set/?set=
a.769847893036452.10
73741932.10000033745
4953&type=1&l=15a48d
fe30
Well we have a ton of geese raising families in an area there is also a large childrens market, water park, and playground. Our geese are not spreading disease or attacking children and the aged and infirm. And did I say, this is Vancouver, BC. Always on most liveable cities in the world lists, national geographic named it as one of the 10 best beach cities in the world, and Stanley Park with geese has been named worlds best park by TripAdvisor in 2013 and 2014. What is your town known for again other than killing Canada geese now? https://www.facebook .com/media/set/?set= a.769847893036452.10 73741932.10000033745 4953&type=1&l=15a48d fe30 MarionA
  • Score: 1

11:51pm Thu 10 Jul 14

MarionA says...

Oops.....sorry for the one comment about the USA....lately I have read quite a few similar articles from there and this article was posted on an American site; I didn't even know where St Helens was. I just clued in to where St Helen's was after a google search.
Oops.....sorry for the one comment about the USA....lately I have read quite a few similar articles from there and this article was posted on an American site; I didn't even know where St Helens was. I just clued in to where St Helen's was after a google search. MarionA
  • Score: -1

3:47am Fri 11 Jul 14

Jacqueline Daly says...

Now all the geese have been killed you can move on to eradicate the next annoying creature. If this continues pretty soon everything will be extinct but the humans in control of the slaughter.
Now all the geese have been killed you can move on to eradicate the next annoying creature. If this continues pretty soon everything will be extinct but the humans in control of the slaughter. Jacqueline Daly
  • Score: 4
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