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New Hope for Mute Swans As Lawmakers Pitch Halt On Mass Killings

Mute swans might live to see another day under a new plan by lawmakers.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons.
Mute swans might get a stay of execution if three lawmakers have their say.

New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele and State Senators Tony Avella and Steve Cymbrowitz have teamed up to co-sponsor legislation that would impose a two-year moratorium on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's plan to declare mute swans a "prohibited invasive species" and to kill all of the 2,200 mute swans in the state by 2025. 

In January, residents reacted with outrage after learning that state officials planned to eliminate all of the wild mute swans in New York, either by capturing or killing them.

Under the proposed plan, adult swans in public waters could be shot or euthanized, or they could be caught by those licensed to keep them in captivity. 

Mute swans are most prevalent on Long Island and the lower Hudson Valley.

The new legislation would require the DEC to demonstrate the actual damage to the environment or other species that have been caused by the mute swan population of only 2,200 across the state.

“Wildlife experts, rehabilitators and environmentalists do not unanimously agree that exterminating the mute swan population is justified," Thiele said. "In addition, there is debate amongst such experts about whether the planned eradication of the mute swan population is even minimally beneficial to the eco-system or to our environment. Therefore, it is incumbent on the Department of Environmental Conservation to illustrate the necessity of eradicating this non-native species by demonstrating the actual damage to the environment or other species caused by mute swans.”          

On the East End, the mute swan is often seen in local ponds and waterways, Thiele said, and in all his years of office, he's not received one complaint. 

"Mute swans can cause a variety of problems, including exhibiting aggressive behavior towards people, destruction of submerged aquatic vegetation, displacement of native wildlife species, degradation of water quality and potential hazards to aviation," Department of Environmental Conversation representatives countered.

Comments on the draft mute swan plan may be submitted in writing through Jan. 31 to: NYSDEC Bureau of Wildlife, Swan Management Plan, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754 or by e-mail to fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us (please type "Swan Plan" in the subject line).

For more on this plan, click here.

What are your thoughts on the plan to eliminate all the mute swans? Tell us in the comments section below
Yvonne Kleine March 14, 2014 at 11:28 AM
Rita, you know I love you, but I just got my tax bill and over 10,000 bucks is going to the BBP school district. That leaves just 7000 for everything else including the police. I think we all know who is really bleeding us all into foreclosure.
Patchogue Snoop March 15, 2014 at 02:24 PM
Hey Johny, Yeah man it is....too many dunkin donuts on the island...its an occupational hazard for the cops. And yes, we pay for the donuts too under meal allowances when on OT.
Barbara Goldowsky March 15, 2014 at 08:11 PM
The swans are wondering when we are going to talk about THEM again....
Harriet Brown March 23, 2014 at 04:35 PM
There is no good reasons to destroy these beautiful creatures.
FedUpRealist May 15, 2014 at 02:21 PM
Kill the Canadian geese and feed them to all the homeless and sexual predators that live next door to sympathetic liberals (Ooops, that's right, liberals want to say 'THEY' are sympathetic but 'just not in my backyard')

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