Issaquah geese kill stirs up controversy

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ISSAQUAH, Wash. - A controversy is brewing on the Eastside after federal authorities rounded up about 90 Canada geese at Lake Sammamish State Park and killed them.

 The kill was authorized because the population of geese was reportedly threatening to overtake the park, but it wasn’t made public.

 Opponents said the kills are unnecessary and ineffective. 

  You don't have to look far at Lake Sammamish State Park to find evidence of Canada geese. Parkgoer Karen Burrington nearly sat on a bit of goose excrement, and it's been worse.

 “(We were) on one of those fields, and we would stretch out there and the fields were just covered.  You couldn’t even sit down to stretch. It was pretty gross,” said Burrington.

   Even so, Burrington said she doesn't think the geese should be killed.

 “I think that they should have relocated them,” said Burrington.

  In the spring, the US Department of Agriculture rounded up scores of geese at the park and killed them. 

 Their concern was that the growing goose population was upsetting the ecological balance.

 Longtime animal rights activist Diane Weinstein said it’s inhumane.

 “There are all kinds of alternatives, and those should all be explored in earnest first before they resort to killing,” said Weinstein.

 KIRO 7 had archived video from 1996 of the USDA trying to control the population by killing the goose eggs before they hatched. 

 But Weinstein said the kills are ineffective. The geese are still there.

 “They kill them, and they create a void in the environment, and other geese will come in because it’s an open spot and there’s plenty of food and a nice beach.  So, it creates an endless cycle of killing,” said Weinstein.

 Weinstein said the cycle needs to stop.

 Action for Animals has an online petition to end the practice.