COALITION OF ACTIVISTS DENOUNCE SLAUGHTER AT NATURE 'PRESERVE'
A coalition of Westchester area animal advocates is speaking out against the secretive, dangerous plan by the Teatown Nature Preserve to slaughter 75 of its deer residents in the next few weeks by rifle fire. This cruel, ill-advised contract will allow for the killing of more deer over the next FIVE years, and is being litigated in Supreme Court, at the further expense of Teatown's members. ANIMAL DEFENDERS OF WESTCHESTER joins with ANIMAL NATION, NY 4 WHALES, WILDLIFE WATCH andTEATOWN MEMBERS AND NEIGHBORS AGAINST ANIMAL CRUELTY, to denounce such unnecessary barbarism at a nature preserve, of all places, and demand safety for all animals within its stewardship.
These are the facts as they stand now:
- Teatown mgmt supposedly perceived a 'problem' years ago and chose to do nothing about it; they have now used old, outdated surveys to 'prove' overpopulation and by-passed a vote by their advisory board in favor of secrecy - despite being asked for proof of damage by deer, and the fact that many residents state they never even see any deer at all; all factors leading us to believe Teatown mgmt has their own agenda for contracting with the DEC,as has been the case with the 'major cooperators' program of the USDA/Wildlife Services, a program which benefits both parties.
- This has been addressed humanely all over the coiuntry, including in Michigan, Fire Island and Hastings. According to Hastings Mayor Swiderski, '“I realized there would be a public outcry every year and sabotage would be easy. It only takes a few people with vials of coyote urine to drive the deer away.” In fact, Teatown's Kevin Carter informed us about Fire Island, whose program we were unaware of. A Grand Rapids coucilman calls it a 'win-win' for the city
- Teatown has reacted to criticism of the deer slaughter by changing its Facebook setting to block public comments...and by completely removing its list of Advisory Board Members from its website, to maintain a cloak of secrecy and deception instead of responding to complaints by residents and the public at large
- At least one Teatown Advisory Board Member has denounced Teatown for being left out the decision making, and is willing to speak to the press about it
- Senator Greg Ball, a 'major player' for animal advocacy, is sending out emails about his supposed 'accomplishments' for animals...by way of excusing the fact that he refuses to get involved with the Teatown disgrace, even though it's occurring in his senatorial district!
This is what our advocacy allies have to say about the despicable way Teatown handles its supposed 'deer problems':
TAFFY WILLIAMS, NY4 WHALES and Licensed wildlife rehabilitator:
"The relentless and unnecessary slaughter of our wildlife has to stop! The millions of people who love to experience nature and our own wildlife are too often kept in the dark - until its too late! They will learn later the deer have vanished - and the grief and outrage will assault them as if the hunters had blasted them instead! Why does the solution to wildlife paranoia end in their destruction? Why is a nature preserve - a place of sanctuary for wildlife - resorting to this inhumane annihilation? We can not let these deer be slaughtered."
KATE MURPHY, ANIMAL NATION
"Animal Nation, Inc. a volunteer-run 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit animal rescue organization founded, in Rye, NY in 2001. We are writing on behalf of our directors, founders and supporters. Most people are not aware that the United States Department of Agriculture - Fish and Wildlife Services (federal branch of the DEC) is being investigated by the Inspector General for corruption, misuse of federal funds, inhumane and illegal practices to cull and kill millions of animals a year including carnivores and protected ( http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/awetzler/breaking_usda_inspector_genera.html)
We strongly oppose the decision that Teatown Reservation has made to bring in the USDA FWS to slaughter deer on their property. We think you are sending an unhealthy message to our community, especially children by choosing this lethal method. We support the circulating petition and have sent it out to our volunteers & supporters. We hope that Teatown officials change their mind and decide to do the right thing by choosing a humane approach to their forest regeneration project - as it is an important issue, we agree should be addressed but in more humane approaches."
ANNE MULLER, WILDLIFE WATCH
"On behalf of our Westchester members, and the many people who care about wild animals, we were shocked that by the time the public found out about the killing of deer in Teatown Lake Reservation, the ink had dried on the contract between Teatown and Wildlife Services, which is under Congressional investigation for cruelty to animals. Wildlife Services has specialized in poisoning birds, torching young coyote pups alive in their dens, and other atrocities against wildlife. How in the world did Teatown engage them without consulting with wildlife protection organizations? These organizations could have provided information about products and procedures that would be humane, effective, and non-lethal.
It appears that the decision was unilaterally made behind closed doors. If another not-for-profit organization spent its members’ donations to kill wild animals, and did so in such a heavy-handed fashion, the officers would be forced to resign.
Wildlife Watch intends to let our members, friends, and followers know about Teatown’s disregard for the precious lives that grace their reservation, though we hold out hope that Teatown will reverse its misguided decision. Ironically, we promoted Teatown in our latest newsletter as a prime wildlife watching area. We will be publishing a reversal of that recommendation, along with a condemnation of Teatown’s decision to kill the deer, in our next issue."
BIRGIT ROBERTSON, TEATOWN MEMBERS & NEIGHBORS AGAINST ANIMAL CRUELTY
We urge Teatown leadership to stop this so we can all enjoy Teatown once more."