Janesville72°

Goose problem not on Delavan Town Board agenda

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ANN MARIE AMES
June 8, 2010
— None of the members of the Delavan Town Board on Monday jumped to put the town’s goose problem on an agenda.

But the board had one more chance to hear people speak against the unpopular option of killing the geese that live near Delavan Lake. Opponents of the plan have a week to convince board members to change their minds.


“The information you had at the time of the vote was not complete,” Lakeland Animal Shelter Director Kristin Perry said.


Perry and others said they understand the board’s dilemma and encouraged board members to take more time to learn about options to control geese other than killing the birds.


The board in April voted to hire the USDA Wildlife Service to capture and kill geese near Delavan Lake. Since then volunteers have said they will clean goose waste near the lake if the town reverses its decision.


The board’s next regular meeting is Tuesday, June 15. Between now and then, if at least two board members ask to have the topic put on that night’s agenda, the board could talk about or even reverse goose capture plans.


Otherwise, the wildlife service will go ahead with the plan to reduce goose numbers later this month or in July.


Wildlife service workers would herd geese into cages and take them to poultry-processing plants. Adult geese would be processed into meat for food pantries. Juvenile geese would be processed for use at animal shelters and sanctuaries.


The town budgeted $4,000 from the Delavan Lake Sanitary District for the service.


In 2009, the wildlife service captured geese in 30 Wisconsin communities, spokesman Chip Lovell said. The round-ups happen in the summer when most of the geese have molted and can’t fly, he said.


He would not immediately say where in 2009 the USDA performed the service.


The Gazette has requested the information through the Wisconsin Open Records Law.


Lovell said the wildlife service only captures geese if a business or municipality has exhausted all other methods of deterring geese. The town has held special goose hunts, oiled eggs and gotten permits to destroy nests, officials have said.


Wildlife service workers will not enter private property if property owners ask them not to.


Property owners who do—or do not—want geese captured on their property along the Delavan Lake shoreline should call the Delavan Town Hall at (262) 728-3471.



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