They Came in the Night – USDA Wildlife Services “Contract Killers” – Dark Operations Part 2 – The Killing

They Came in the Night – USDA Wildlife Services “Contract Killers” – Dark Operations Part 2 – The Killing

“The geese are killed by lethal gas—often in small chambers on the back of trucks brought directly to the round-up site. Geese are loaded into the chamber one at a time until several are inside.

Witnesses can hear the geese banging and thumping trying to escape.” The problem with Canada goose round-ups | The Humane Society of the United States

Every summer, geese molt off their flight feathers and grow in a beautiful new set. They cannot fly during molt, and Wildlife Services takes advantage of that vulnerability.

In the middle of the night, they begin to round up the geese that can’t fly and massacre them in a portable gas chamber in the back of their truck, a cruel method where they will die slowly and painfully from a lethal administration of carbon dioxide and argon.

In Defense of Animals, reports that, “the gassing process simultaneously burns and freezes their lungs for up to 45 minutes before their so-called “humane” death. Gassing is totally inappropriate for geese who can hold their breath for prolonged periods.”

Photo courtesy of In Defense of Animals
Photo Credit: Canada Geese Protection Colorado courtesy of In Defense of Animals.

The Dark Operations of the USDA’s Wildlife Services appear to be strategically hidden from the public. We don’t hear about these killings until after the fact when it is too late.

In San Antonio, the city claims the USDA Wildlife Services was hired to move migratory birds “humanely and nonlethally” out of city parks. Yet, the USDA has a Fish & Wildlife Depredation Permit for lethal take (killing) of birds.

After a year of Open Records requests for correspondence between the city and the USDA, a release of duplicate pages and limited correspondence appears meant to withhold documents from public view.

A lawsuit by Animal Legal Defense Fund states that, “the details surrounding the geese slaughter program in Denver, which already endured widespread public objection, were presumably kept hidden because Wildlife Services did not have the support of local communities to kill any geese.

And then to make matters worse, they fought to keep the information secret, resulting in additional taxpayer funds being spent on attorneys’ fees,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. Lawsuit Settlement Reveals USDA Intended to Slaughter 1,000 Additional Geese in Denver – Animal Legal Defense Fund (

Photo by Alesia Garlock
Photo by Alesia Garlock

According to Shiela Bolin from the Regal Swan Foundation, “since the early 1990’s, U.S. Taxpayers have been paying millions of dollars to kill hundreds of thousands of Mute Swans so that wildlife officials can introduce the larger Trumpeter Swans for Trophy Waterfowl Hunting purposes to fund their services.”

Per Bolin, “as stated by a Maryland DNR official, the killings were conducted under the radar of politicians, the media and public and no scientific study was ever conducted.  A Michigan DNR official stated that the Mute Swan killing program was financially unsustainable, but they were probably going to continue the program.”

Bolin also states that, “until USFWS and USDA are revamped so that wildlife is not used as a commodity to fund non-scientific based wildlife killing programs, the U.S. taxpayer and wildlife are going to continue paying astronomically, both financially and detrimentally to the environment. It’s time to remove the money and revamp USFWS and USDA wildlife programs.”

Muscovy Duck with ducklings at Brackenridge Park - Photo by Alesia Garlock
Muscovy Duck with ducklings at Brackenridge Park – Photo by Alesia Garlock

“It’s a tragedy that hundreds of geese and goslings are brutally killed when effective nonlethal measures can save their lives. Compassion must be a guiding principle for decisions related to the wellbeing of geese, who are our wild animal neighbors,” said Lisa Levinson, Campaigns Director for In Defense of Animals.

Furthermore, Lisa Levinson states that, “Nonlethal goose management benefits everyone since it is cheaper and more effective than killing. We hope decision-makers will be inspired to foster coexistence with geese instead of cruel and costly roundups” National Goose Protection Coalition

With a heavy heart, I share the stories of my friends that grieve for the loss they feel after a roundup, and I share their stories of love for the Geese, Ducks, Swans, and other Waterbirds. I share the anger with those who work to keep wildlife from the clutches of the USDA’s “Contract Killers,” as the mass killings continue without a thought it seems for alternative methods, and what appears to be a lack of empathy and lack of consideration for the future.

I want to yell, STOP at the barrage of misinformation that flows out from the “goose haters” lips to justify their evil deeds. Because if you think about it, if it wasn’t evil or wrong, then why does the USDA Wildlife Services continue to bypass the public engagement process by working in the dark of the night? Performing a Dark Operation that sucks the living life out of our wildlife, leaving nothing but a waterfowl barren landscape, after they came in the dark of the night.

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Alesia Garlock

Alesia Garlock

Wildlife / Environmental Advocate! I fight to protect nature. Informing the public of hidden agenda!

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Alesia Garlock

Alesia Garlock

Wildlife / Environmental Advocate! I fight to protect nature. Informing the public of hidden agenda!

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