“‘Euthanized’ Not the Right Word for Killings of Geese in Salisbury”: Karen Davis’s Letter to the Editor of the Salisbury Daily Times

Goose Family, Geese, Canada Geese, Goslings, Chicks

Karen’s Letter to the Editor was published on the Delmarva Now website on July 12th and in the Salisbury, MarylandDaily Times the following day. The letter is a response to “Hundreds of geese euthanized in Salisbury, meat goes to local shelters,” where we are told that “Kevin Sullivan of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services confirmed his team humanely euthanized 362 resident Canada geese two weeks ago, brought in by request of the city of Salisbury to manage ‘an excessive population.’”

The terror attack on the geese in Salisbury, Maryland followed the terror attack on thousands of migrant Canada geese in Denver, Colorado in July – a brutal roundup that infuriated people in Denver and beyond.

Letter by UPC President Karen Davis, published July 12, 2019 on Delmarva Now

Dear Editor:

I object to use of the term “euthanize” in this coverage of the cruel roundup, transport and gassing to death of the Canada geese. This government-industry term is a euphemism designed to disguise great suffering inflicted on defenseless creatures. “Euthanasia” is a Greek term meaning “a good death.” It means a death that is merciful, peaceful, compassionate, and humane – the opposite of being attacked, shoved into transport crates, and delivered to a slaughterhouse and exposed to the slow, terrifying experience of suffocation. Inhalation of carbon dioxide is painful and distressing to birds because they, like humans, have chemical receptors that are acutely sensitive to carbon dioxide.

There are reams of studies demonstrating the panicked effort of birds to escape chambers filled with carbon dioxide, which simultaneously burns and freezes their lungs. This gas is used in mass-exterminations of birds because it is cheap. The fact that CO2 is “approved” by the American Veterinary Medical Association defies the well-documented fact that CO2 is inhumane. The roundup of the geese in Salisbury is sickening to contemplate. It shows a failure of compassion and civility toward birds we should cherish rather than banish from our world. – Karen Davis, President, United Poultry Concerns