We are thrilled to announce that the city of Madison did NOT kill any Canada geese this year – nor do they plan to! The City of Madison Parks Division has made a huge effort to implement humane methods this past year. Because of this, countless lives were saved.

As many of you know, last year Madison Parks killed 127 geese at Vilas Park for being geese. The Alliance for Animals has been urging them to use the many other humane alternatives to killing – and they did! The “problem” is that the geese will always find these open areas near water attractive just as humans do. Killing isn’t the solution because others just take their place. Ultimately the thing that will really work is habitat modification. We know that Madison Parks has successfully used this method in some areas and the Alliance is on board to help them any time they are able to start modifying more of the landscapes.

This year Madison Parks addled more eggs and started a new volunteer program asking people to count and haze geese at all of the parks. Hazing might sound like something a college fraternity might do, but in this case all it means is clapping your hands and walking towards them to indicate they aren’t welcome. These methods might sound somewhat cruel, but they are extremely kind in comparison to the alternative. Here is an article the Isthmus put out recently about Madison Parks efforts and volunteering.

Thank you to the many concerned Canada geese advocates who wrote letters, made phone calls, volunteered with hazing the geese, and even picked up goose poop. As the saying goes, it takes a village. A big thank you to AFA’s own Mary Telfer, who worked her heart out advocating for the geese, while remaining professional and respectful to all parties involved.

We congratulate Madison Parks for gathering volunteers and trying some new humane ways of managing the geese in Madison. Please take a minute to thank them for their more compassionate choice.

Eric Knepp (Superintendent of the Madison Parks Division): eknepp@cityofmadison.com

Paul Quinlan (Conservation Resources Supervisor): pquinlan@cityofmadison.com