Debate over how to deal with the problem of Canada Geese throughout Ocean County is taken to the  board of Freeholders as an animal rights group asks to change the way things are done.

The County deals with the water fowl through a USDA approved “collect and kill” system. The method involves collecting the birds into the back of a large truck and exposing them to carbon dioxide gas, ultimately killing them.

The Animal Activists of New Jersey and their president David Sauder went before the Freeholders in May to try and dissuade them of continuing the practice and instead consider non lethal methods.


He suggested ideas like egg addling or eagle decoys which have been show to kill the eggs humanly or ward off the birds more effectively.

A similar situation occurred several months back when Sauder and the Animal Activists of New Jersey protested against Lacey Township’s consideration of the “collect and kill” method.

While Lacey Township ultimately decided against the lethal method of dealing with the geese, Freeholder Deputy Director and liaison to the parks department, John Bartlett, says the county will continue with the collect and kill method, and for good reason.

“We have tried and tried and tried and could not come up with any solution to eliminate what is a terrible problem.” Says Bartlett.

Adding the county has tried several non lethal methods of dealing with geese without success. Often the methods cost more and were not as effective.

Sauder notes that modern society has created the perfect environment for geese.

“Retention ponds, corporate parks, manicured lawns, geese see this as a banquet.” Adding that if you want to get rid of the birds once and for all in a humane way, “landscape management is one of the integral parts of keeping geese away from places you don’t want them to be.”

Bartlett however says that while the county has no problem with the birds being on any of its open space, they will not sacrifice human comfort at parks.

“Parks are built for people and we invest a lot of money in them.”

He notes though unfortunate, the county will continue using the method approved by the USDA. Sauder on the other hand says his organization will continue to petition the board at meetings against the practice.