Protest Brutal Canada Geese Roundup and Murder in Denver, Colorado

“This slaughter is a bloodbath – an act of pure, shameful, unnecessary cruelty.” – Cognitive ethologist and Colorado resident Dr. Marc Bekoff

The geese are being rounded up in a Denver park, July 2020.
The geese are being rounded up in a Denver park, July 2020.

Peaceful Canada geese in the hundreds or thousands (the exact number is not clear) were rounded up for slaughter for the second year in a row this July, according to Canada Geese Protection Colorado, an organization that is working to stop this needless cruelty. The roundup of the geese as they sat quietly on the water in the early morning hours this year and last was authorized by Denver Parks & Recreation’s deputy manager Scott Gilmore and Mayor Michael Hancock, who called in US Fish & Wildlife Services to the Denver park system to do their dirty work.

Notably, the “overpopulation” of seasonal Canada geese in Denver is a result of the deliberate reestablishment of breeding populations of Canada geese in Colorado by CO Parks & Wildlife and US Fish & Wildlife in the 1950s into the 1970s. As with turkeys in the early 20th century, this endeavor was most likely undertaken for the sake of “recreational” hunting of the geese, who are now being blamed for damaging the environment with their droppings.

According to Canada Geese Protection Colorado:

For the second year in a row, Denver Parks and Recreation is attempting to rely on killing geese as a method of addressing the perceived nuisance of Canada geese resident in Denver parks. In 2019, without any substantive, transparent, or meaningful public engagement or notification, and in direct violation of its own policies, Denver Parks and Recreation hatched and executed a misguided, lazy plan to capture and slaughter Denver’s resident Canada geese because they do not regard them as sentient beings with a right to their own existence, are too lazy to clean our parks of goose feces, listened to an elite group calling for lethal population control, and were impatient, looking for a quick fix to a problem they created. Numerous humane alternatives to control the population and impact of Canada geese exist, such as habitat modification, hazing, egg oiling, public education, cleaning, and more.

Sources say that in 2019, they rounded up more than 1,600 geese, shoved them into small crates, and drove them in an open bed trailer to R&C Processing in Fort Collins, Colorado. The frightened geese and their young waited in the blistering summer heat until they were slaughtered. Many perished while waiting. Wildlife Services said they were killed by “human hands.” If so, this means dislocating their necks resulting in lengthy and painful deaths, or taking a knife or a hatchet and chopping off their heads. Or they could have been slaughtered by the standard automated poultry slaughter process that includes paralytic electric shock and automated throat-cutting. Or they could have been gassed to death with carbon dioxide. Or a combination of these cruelties could have been used.

Denver activists stated in late July: “This year we’re not sure where they met their demise. We need your help to finally put an end to this brutality. As taxpayers, we paid for this horrific nightmare.”

What Can I Do?

Let Denver city officials and the Denver tourist bureau, Visit Denver, know how disgusted you are with the handling of the Canada geese and that the city needs to adopt compassionate, nonlethal ways of resolving the conflict. If you’re an out-of-towner, tell them your decision to visit Denver will be negatively impacted by Denver’s egregiously cruel behavior to the geese. In your own words, urge that if they care about the reputation of their city and animal cruelty, they must act constructively to prevent these unconscionable massacres in the future. Request a written reply from each official and administrator to your concerns.


From video by Canada Geese Protection Colorado The captured geese are being crated to be trucked to the slaughterhouse, July 2020.
The captured geese are being crated to be trucked to the slaughterhouse, July 2020.