Agents with the U.S. Department of Agriculture killed 751 geese at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge early Monday Morning.
“It was sometime late this morning,” Glen Caplin, a spokesman for Kirsten Gillibrand, told Metro. “My understanding is they were euthanized.”
Officials from Gillibrand’s office have been trying to get agents into the refuge for over three years. They say that the geese are a danger to planes taking off at JFK and LaGuardia airports.
In 2009, geese were said to be responsible for bringing down a flight and this April, a Jet Blue plane flying from Westchester Airport made an emergency landing after it hit two Canadian geese. Also, a Delta flight had to be grounded after it hit flying geese.
USDA agents have previously gassed geese to death within a seven-mile radius of New York’s major airports. They were unable to get into the wildlife refuge because the federal government had been resistant to allowing USDA agents in until an environmental study was completed on the impact of the culling.
When that study was done, agents went in.
“We could not afford to sit back and wait for a catastrophe to occur before cutting through bureaucratic red tape between federal agencies,” said Gillibrand in a statement. “We are finally taking action to help reduce bird strikes and save lives.”