Edgewater defends gassing goose population as activists fight the practice

Animal rights activists and Edgewater borough officials are in a disagreement about how to best handle the town’s goose population.

People against Edgewater's practice of gassing geese in town have erected Billboard such as these around town.

People against Edgewater's practice of gassing geese in town have erected Billboard such as these around town. (5/18/16)

EDGEWATER - Animal rights activists and Edgewater borough officials are in a disagreement about how to best handle the town’s goose population.

After it was revealed that geese caused the “Miracle on the Hudson” plane to go down, Edgewater officials began controlling the population. The borough has a contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which means that each year around mid-May the geese are euthanized by gas.

However, many animal rights activists say that this is inhumane. Protesters have put up billboards and collected hundreds of signatures on petitions to stop the practice.

"They’re part of the water and nature and so whoever thinks they're a nuisance, if that's really what they're trying to solve, they can easily put a fence up,” says animal supporter Lisa Borregine.

Dozens of supporters recently went to an Edgewater Borough council meeting to ask for the gassing to stop, but were unsuccessful.

"We’re all saying that this isn't right, we don't want [them] doing this and they're ignoring us,” Borregine says.

Edgewater officials tell News 12 New Jersey that over the years they have tried several different methods to control the goose population. The methods included using cutouts of dogs, using a company to chase away the geese and using a sound system. The officials said that none of those methods worked.

Edgewater says that the town is open to alternative methods, but will renew the gassing contract for now.

About 70 municipalities across the Garden State use similar programs to control the goose population.

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