Wildlife "Culls"

“Culls” are nothing short of a euphemism for “massacres.” Called “Agriculture’s Misnamed Agency” by the New York Times, USDA APHIS Wildlife Services wasted $124 million in taxpayer dollars to massacre 1.76 million animals in 2021. 400,000 of those animals were native. Some of them were pets. 3,000 were unintentional. Countless others were killed by private exterminators. 

Contract killing & Taxpayer waste

Wildlife Services wasted $124 million in taxpayer dollars to massacre 1.76 million animals in 2021. 400,000 of those animals were native. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) Wildlife Services is tasked with addressing and resolving conflicts with wild animals that cause economic harm or threaten human or animal health and safety. However, throughout its history, Wildlife Services has resorted to lethal management at nearly every turn. In its early days, massive poisoning campaigns aimed at all predatory species constituted a literal war on wildlife from which this country and its environment are still recovering. According to our colleagues at the Humane Society of the United States, these campaigns killed millions of target and non-target animals, including endangered and threatened species, as well as cats, dogs, and other domestic animals. Today’s Wildlife Services program continues to kill in the millions, sadly reflecting an organizational culture that continues to embrace lethal control as a primary practice in resolving human-wildlife conflicts.

Scape-goosing Human-Caused pollution

Wildlife Services kills pets


‘Opportunity’ on the Hudson

On January 15, 2009, birds took the blame for bringing down the jetliner that “Sully” Sullenberger landed on the Hudson, and USDA Wildlife Services has used the opportunity to kill more than 100,000 of them near—and as you’ll see below, far away from—New York airports ever since.  

Despite LaGuardia and Newark airports contracting with the USDA to massacre birds near the airports in the wake of the “Miracle on the Hudson”, the number of recorded bird strikes involving those airports has nearly doubled in the years that followed. Swans, blackbirds, crows, starlings, and even “federally-protected” Snowy owls have been added to Wildlife Service’s hit-list since. 

In 2020, Wildlife Services’ carelessness resulted in the massacre of 86 geese and baby goslings at Milburn Pond Park under the pretense of “flight safety,” despite the park being more than 11 miles from the nearest airport. Following inquiries by the South Shore Audubon Society and a vigil by Humane Long Island, the agency admitted to rounding up the geese and their babies during their molting season—when the birds lose their flight feathers and are most helpless—and apologized for its “error.”

Hitmen for Animal Agriculture


Killing with Cloak & Dagger

Lack of Transparency

Add bit about private exterminators

Circumventing the law


poisoning the underprivileged

Killing wildlife is a proven public relations nightmare, so in an attempt to sanitize wildlife massacres, public officials will often announce a plan to launder the meat by donating it to low-income communities. Since massacres are ostensibly ordered on the grounds that animals must be killed because they are somehow starving, sickly, or spreading disease, this charade is not only patronizing but exposes a major crack in the facade of why these massacres are being ordered in the first place. 

Legitimate hunger relief organizationsincluding the NYC Coalition for the Homeless and Long Island’s Community Solidarityhave spoken out against these carcass donations due to the threat of contaminants. In fact, these donations are often accompanied by a label cautioning that it should not be consumed more than once in a month. In Westchester, this warning has come along with a second: that the meat might contain bird-shot—a type of shotgun shell. 


Coexisting with WIldlife

Keep Wildlife Wild


Habitat Modification



Humane Deterrents


Birth Control


What Humane Long Island is doing to help

Leading campaigns to stop mass killings before they happen

After campaigns led by Humane Long Island, North Hempstead officials scrapped plans to massacre 600 geese; Islip UFSD ended an 8-year tradition of hiring Wildlife Services to execute hundreds of geese annually on its properties; the Lake Ronkonkoma Advisory Board pursued birth control rather than slaughter; and Brightwaters and Cornwall-on-the-Hudson committed to pursue only humane, nonlethal geese management.

East Hampton, Southampton, Brookhaven, Riverhead, and Shelter Island canceled plans to hire Wildlife Services to kill ~5,000 deer on the East End following a campaign by Humane Long Island and our friends at the Wildlife Preservation Coalition of Eastern Long Island. 

Steering the National Goose protection Coalition

Humane Long Island’s executive director John Di Leonardo serves on the steering committee for In Defense of Animals’ National Goose Protection Coalition, which provides resources, education, and advocacy tools for people who want to help geese in their communities via nonlethal means of resolving human-geese conflicts. 

building bridges with USDA APHIS Wildlife Services

After Save the Geese Bloomsburg sounded the alarm that USDA APHIS Wildlife Services would be removing up to 70 ducks from Fairground Road Park in East Buffalo Township, Humane Long Island’s Duck Defenders program offered a solution beneficial for both the ducks and the community: working in cooperation with Wildlife Services to humanely relocate the domestic ducks to reputable homes and sanctuaries.

Following a successful effort in East Buffalo Township, this burgeoning relationship between Humane Long Island and Wildlife Services will likely save the lives of many more domestic ducks and geese to come. 

Like geese, we fly further together

HumaneLI Executive Director John Di Leonardo and USDA APHIS Wildlife Services Wildlife Biologist Kyle Van Why work cooperatively to untangle ducks from a net at Fairground Road Park in East Buffalo Township.
Photo Credit: Jim Diehl / The News-Item