Well, it looks like there's no hope left for the 170,000 geese that the city's planning on euthanizing to reduce the danger of airplane collisions. Now protesters and activists are wondering: will the goose meat at least be served in homeless shelters?
The DEP says no. They don't have a method of testing the geese for toxins or processing the meat, spokesperson Farrell Sklerov told the New York Times.
Apparently, the state's Department of Health needs to give the go-ahead in order for homeless shelters to serve goose, but a report on the safety of New York bird meat has been six years in coming, a high-level Federal Department of Agriculture official told the Times.
And so, with New York City Canada geese's long necks on the line, the state still doesn't have "sufficient guidelines that pertain to the oversight of the safe preparation or donation of geese to food pantries or soup kitchens," Sklerov told the Times. Hence, the 400 geese killed in Prospect Park earlier this month were double-bagged and thrown in a landfill after being gassed.
The gas used to kill the geese is carbon dioxide, which doesn't make the meat toxic. Perhaps New York City officials are concerned about smog and pollution that the geese may have accrued in their metropolitan life. In any case, several other states don't think that goose meat toxicity is an issue.
"These are the same geese hunted by hunters all the time," one Oregon park director, where 109 geese were killed recently with carbon dioxide, told the Times. He said that he was confused by New York's refusal to serve the goose meat. And if this were Pennsylvania, the state would be required to donate the geese to a food bank.
However, those who oppose the euthanizing say that eating the slaughtered geese is just adding insult to injury. "What they are trying to do is make an unnecessary act seem charitable," NY state director for the Humane Society told the Times. In the Oregon case, people protested the homeless shelters' decision to accept the goose meat.
In any case, no one's going to be eating the culled geese in New York City, lacking the proper government regulations; it seems that such discussions would be fruitless -- as well as meatless.