Almost 1,700 NY geese killed to protect air travel

The report from US Department of Agriculture details the 1,509 wild geese slaughtered in New York City itself and 167 more in nearby Nassau County during the summer of 2010.

The round-up and gassing of the birds removed 89 per cent of the population surveyed in the environs of the two airports, according to the report, which was presented in November last year but only dug up and posted online by The New York Times yesterday.

The war on geese started after the January 2009 drama in which a packed US Airways airliner collided with a flock of the migratory birds before safely crashing, with both engines disabled, into the Hudson River.

The cull is meant to take place in an area up to seven miles (11 kilometers) from John F. Kennedy International or La Guardia airports, although a big roundup in the posh Prospect Park area of Brooklyn was further away.

Goose populations quickly rebounded and a new assault is planned.

"The Federal Aviation Administration and United States Air Force have established a zero-tolerance policy for Canada geese on or near airports due to the high probability of aircraft damage and reduced public safety," the agriculture department report said.

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