Plans to gas hundreds of thousands of geese in the Netherlands in an effort to stop damage to crops have been put on ice, Trouw reports on Wednesday.
Although the goose population still needs to be reduced by 500,000, farmers, nature organisations and provincial governments have agreed to look for alternative ways of cutting their numbers, Trouw says.
The change of heart follows calls from animal rights groups for ministerial intervention. Animal protection group Dierenbescherming has written to farm minister Sharon Dijksma to say gassing is not only ‘very painful’ and labour-intensive but will cost more than the damage caused by geese to carry out.
The organisation is urging the minister to look into alternative methods, such as destroying nests and eggs and making the Dutch landscape less attractive to geese. Changes in the water table would also have an effect.