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Vernon revisiting controversial goose cull proposal

Click to play video 'Canada goose cull in West Kelowna' Canada goose cull in West Kelowna
WATCH: A geese cull in a West Kelowna neighbourhood has upset residents shocked by what they see as brutal measures. Jules Knox reports – Feb 26, 2018

At their Monday meeting, Vernon city council will revisit the controversial idea of culling geese from city parks.

Coun. Dalvir Nahal is proposing the city approve $41,000 in funding to kill 100 to 150 of the birds in Lakeshore, Kin, Paddlewheel, and Polson parks.

The rationale provided to council, in support of Nahal’s motion, said that “the overpopulation of geese causes economic, environmental and social impacts including, water quality issues.”

“It can also cause park and beach closures due to high E. coli levels in the water. The interaction of geese and feces with the human population impacts tourism by causing community and visitor dissatisfaction,” the rationale document states.

“At present, the City of Vernon spends $35,000 on an addling program which has proven to be ineffective.”

Read more: Vernon considering goose control options including a cull

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The egg addling program is aimed at stopping new birds from hatching.

Supporters of a cull have also pointed out many of the birds are not native to the area and the geese can damage crops.

The Okanagan has a non-migratory population of geese that were mostly introduced to the area decades ago.

Vernon considered instituting a cull last year, but council was divided on the issue and the cull proposal didn’t go ahead.

Read more: Vernon City Council divided on goose cull

However, council did up the budget for egg addling last year by $15,000.

When the issue came up last year, some park users told Global News they did not want to see the birds killed.

Read more: ‘It’s unbearable’: Capital Regional District looks to take on Canada geese population

One park user called the idea disgraceful, saying the community should not kill birds just to create better swimming conditions in Okanagan Lake.

“I don’t want to see them killed. I think there is other places where they can go,” said another Kin Beach visitor in February 2020.

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“Maybe if people stopped feeding them that would help.”

Read more: Vancouver Island farmers call for goose cull

Mayor Victor Cumming voted against the proposal in 2020 saying, at the time, that more information was needed to proceed.

No specific details have been provided to council on how the currently proposed cull would take place if approved.

However, in the past, the proposal was to round up the geese in a trailer and kill them at another location.

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