New Jersey town wants to gas geese to death over poop-filled park despite protests

They’re crying fowl.

A New Jersey town is planning to kill dozens of geese that have turned a public park into their personal potty — despite strong opposition from community members over the “inhumane” approach to the problem.

The Peapack and Gladstone Borough Council voted in March for a plan to hire federal wildlife officials to round up roughly 60 geese in Liberty Park next month — when they cannot fly — and gas them to death with carbon dioxide.

The council said they’ve exhausted all other options to rid the park and its pond of the nuisance geese that have taken over and called in exterminators from the US Department of Agriculture “in desperation.”


The Peapack and Gladstone Borough Council voted in March for a plan to hire federal wildlife officials to round up roughly 60 geese in Liberty Park next month.
The Peapack and Gladstone Borough Council voted in March for a plan to hire federal wildlife officials to round up roughly 60 geese in Liberty Park next month. ABC7NY

“The geese are a challenge in our town,” Councilwoman and veterinarian Jamie Murphy said at the March 5 meeting when the vote was held.

“There’s goose poop everywhere. These toddlers and kids are running around the park,” she continued. “The reality is our park is way too small to support that many geese. It’s not good for them. It’s not good for us.”

But dozens of residents showed up to the council’s Tuesday meeting to protest the mass killings of the birds — who they say are a welcome sight at the park for kids and adults alike.

“Ethuanizing geese is not only inhumane but cruel and disturbing as it involves a deliberate killing of living beings that experience fear pain and distress,” resident Scarlet Campbell told the council members.

Another New Jerseyian said she enjoys hearing the sounds of the geese honking and watching the goslings hatch and grow up each year.

“Your town is going to be known as the geese murderers,” the resident, Michaela Walsh, said in an impassioned speech that drew applause.


Mayor Mark Corigliano said that New Jersey is overpopulated with the birds and that the borough has been dealing with the geese problem for 20 years -- with no long-lasting solutions.
Mayor Mark Corigliano said that New Jersey is overpopulated with the birds and that the borough has been dealing with the geese problem for 20 years — with no long-lasting solutions. ABC7NY

“It’s not that big a deal. Let’s put our big boy pants on and you can walk through a park with a little poop and you’ll survive,” she said.

But the town officials said that the geese droppings contain harmful bacteria that can spread disease and contribute to water quality issues in the park’s pond.

Mayor Mark Corigliano said that New Jersey is overpopulated with the birds and that the borough has been dealing with the geese problem for 20 years — with no long-lasting solutions.

“The borough has tried every reasonable humane effort to discourage these animals from occupying the park. Some have worked temporarily but none have provided a permanent solution,” he said at the packed May 14 meeting.

Some of the failed methods at geese control the borough has tried include a patrol of “geese police” — dogs that chase the birds away, the spreading of organic compounds that are a natural deterrent, and placing special devices in the pond, the town officials said.

Euthanizing the waterfowl is the “best chance of managing the infestation,” he said, adding that the council is open to other options if they prove successful.

Those against sending the birds to the mobile gas chamber suggested rehoming them, feeding them birth control or scaring them away with bigger swans.

But not everyone who showed up to the council meeting to speak their minds was pro-geese.

One woman who lives nearby the park said the geese hiss at her young children and poop all over her driveway and backyard — making it unusable.

Still, nearly 2,000 people have signed an online petition trying to save the Canada geese from their grisly end.

“It is cruel and inhumane to coral these geese in June when they have no flight feathers and use a barbaric gas chamber method to kill them on an on-site truck,” the Change.org petition author Jackie Braun wrote. “This process can take 15- 30 minutes to kill – they are terrified and suffer.”

Should the Peapack and Gladstone Borough Council move forward with its federally-approved extermination plan, it would not be the first New Jersey city to kill geese.

Spring Lake hired wildlife contractors to euthanize nearly 50 Canada geese in 2022 because the growing population could not be sustained, according to NJ.com.

And Edgewater town officials decided to stop killing the waterfowl in 2017 following backlash after hiring USDA experts to exterminate the flocks for four straight years, the local outlet reported.

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