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Kill The Geese, Now! (Or People Might Get Killed by Them)

Avians and airplanes are a bad mix -- and the skies above New York City are no exception.

On Tuesday, a bird strike prompted a JetBlue plane to make an emergency landing.

Last week, also, a bird strike forced a Delta flight to make an emergency landing.

And don't forget the Miracle on the Hudson in 2009, when Capt. Chesley Sullenberger heroically landed a U.S. Airways flight on the river after a Canada geese flock hit the aircraft, CBS News reports.

Now, there seems to be a simple solution to this problem.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand proposed a bill that would make "it easier to round up geese from a federal refuge near Kennedy Airport and kill them."

What the proposed measure would do: It would give the U.S. Department of Agriculture the OK to round up the geese -- which inhabit the Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge, near NYC airports -- in June and July, when they "are molting and can't fly."

If past brushes with bird danger are not enough to convince you, consider: "LaGuardia and JFK airports saw increases in bird strikes of 28 percent and 53 percent, respectively, between 2009 and 2011."

Though the National Park Service, which manages the Refuge, and USDA promised to act in 2009, they still have not. So, Gillibrand's bill would force them to do so.

If the FAA Administrator thinks that Canada geese on National Park Service lands within five miles of a commercial airport pose a threat to flight safety, the USDA would have to act within 90 days -- and to get rid of the geese by the end their molting period.

The measure would also address a delay-making piece of red tape: the NPS says that it cannot act until it has an environmental impact statement. So, the USDA would have to submit one to the service by June 1.

These geese aren't even native to New York, "and are widely considered a nuisance, not only because of the threat to planes but also because of the damage they wreak and droppings they leave behind in parks and golf courses."

But, "a plan last year to kill hundreds of geese at New York City parks met with opposition."

Now, at the Voice, we don't hate animals. Some of us even have lengthy backgrounds in animal rights and welfare. But, we also don't hate humans.

So, as the Daily News has also pointed out, it's inexcusable to thumb twiddle over an environmental impact statement when people's lives are on the line.

Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.


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