Woodmere (WALK) - The Nassau SPCA has joined other animal welfare groups to oppose parts of a plan from state environmental officials to rid Long Island of mute swans.
The swans (pictured at left) are beautiful but are not native to Long Island and are being blamed with damaging the region's natural ecosystem. Part of a plan put together by the state Department of Environmental Conservation calls for lethal control of the swan population, including shooting or euthanizing the creatures.
In a statement, the Nassau SPCA says that, with a mute swan population of only about 2,000, "It is scientifically doubtful that mute swans are causing meaningful environmental damage." The SPCA theorizes that it is more likely that human activity is harming the environment, rather than swans.
The Humane Society of the United States also opposes the mute swan control plan.
Part of the DEC plan says that "mute swans can cause a variety of problems, including aggressive behavior towards people, destruction of submerged aquatic vegetation, displacement of native wildlife species, degradation of water quality, and potential hazards to aviation." The plan calls for the elimination of wild mute swans from New York by 2025.
The DEC will accept public comments on the proposal through February 21, 2014. To see the plan in its entirety, and for an email where comments can be sent to the DEC, click here.
Photo: Nassau SPCA