Schiphol’s geese escape gassing as bureaucracy bites

Red tape and slow legal processes are threatening plans to gas thousands of geese which live close to Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday.

The paper quotes hunters as saying the geese will have flown before action can be taken because officials are trying to make the legislation water-tight.
Arie den Hertog of pest control company Duke Faunabeheer tells the paper he is ready to gas 500 graylag geese a day, but Noord-Holland province is still working out the legal details.

The province’s legal experts want to ensure there are no loopholes to allow animal rights protestors to challenge the killings in court, the paper says. ‘Do civil servants realise that geese won’t wait? Soon the moulting season will be over,’ Den Hertog is quoted as saying.
The province has agreed to allow geese found within 10 km of Schiphol to be killed in order to improve airline safety. Brussels has also given the green light, the paper says.
Graylag geese are a protected species.
Two years ago, an Air Maroc plane managed to avoid disaster after flying into a group of geese shortly after take-off, prompting the safety research council to recommend action be taken.
Animal rights activists argue that gassing the geese will not help the problem because mass killings encourage the birds to breed more intensively. New geese also arrive every year. In addition, planting different crops would also discourage the birds, they say.

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