Locals react: 362 geese euthanized in Salisbury

SALISBURY, Md. – More than 350 geese across Salisbury were recently euthanized by the USDA Wildlife Services. Although the deed is done, some people are torn about whether this was the right thing to do.

“Well I don’t see the number of geese here that we are used to seeing,” says Regina Beatus, a Salisbury resident. “I noticed it was cleaner, by far.”

Locals are taking notice after 362 Canada Geese were taken out of Salisbury to be euthanized because of overpopulation.

“Every year as we walk through, we see clutches of 10 sometimes 14 little ones. And they are not leaving. So it’s gotten bigger over the past years, the number of geese,” says Beatus.

USDA officials say the city contacted them because the goose population in Salisbury had grown so much, leading to issues like overgrazing and accumulation of droppings.

“I do understand the amount of waste that they put out and how that can be troublesome to people in general,” says Danielle Brown, a Salisbury resident.

Those are all issues that people tell 47 ABC they’ve noticed.

“I understand the overpopulation and how it can be dangerous driving and things like that. They can be viewed as a nuisance and destructive for agriculture,” says Caitlin Lacombe, a former Salisbury resident.

As far as the methods for controlling the numbers, locals say this was probably a cost effective way of solving the problem. “I imagine that cost was really evaluated for what was going to be the most efficient method,” says Lacombe.

Still some locals say they don’t necessarily agree with how the population control was handled. “My heart bleeds a little for the situation because this is their habitat. We are here encroaching on their habitat,” says Brown.

Others tell 47 ABC, experts know what they are doing and this was likely the most humane way to address the problem.

“It’s cleaner and they don’t belong here. I wish they didn’t have to euthanize them but that’s probably the only way,” says Beatus.

Salisbury’s Mayor Jake Day tells 47 ABC they are working to verify exactly which city employee reached out to the USDA about the overpopulation of geese.

The USDA says euthanizing geese is not the only option that they use to control the population. They also look at changing the habitat that they live in. They add that it’s hard to control the goose population in urban areas because hunting can’t be used to reduce the numbers.

According to the USDA, the goose population across Maryland has actually increased 16 fold from the years 1970 to 2009. They describe the resurgence of Canada geese as a “conservation success story”.

Categories: Local News, Maryland