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Environmentalists Rally In Support Of Manhattan Airport

20 July 2009


(New York, NY) - This morning the Foundation garnered the support of yet another environmental constituency as the Triborough Association for Fair Treatment drafted a certified “zero-kill” agreement in conjunction with Manhattan Airport. The first of its kind, the agreement sets a bold precedent for other major airports around the world. Since 2002 TAFT has lobbied the FAA as well as state and federal lawmakers to draft legislation opposing aggressive and inhumane waterfowl prevention on the part of airports and several bills are currently pending in Albany. For airports it’s often a delicate trade-off: protecting the safety of humans versus that of animals. The dangers these large migratory birds can cause to aircraft during takeoff and landing are well documented causing significant delays and equipment damages estimated at upwards of $250M annually.

“Active-prevention” bird strike programs, which employ a variety of lethal and non-lethal tactics to eradicate wildlife from the flightpath, are firmly opposed by animal rights groups. But in the case of Manhattan Airport, a recent study funded by the Foundation indicates that as trees, ponds and other natural roosting areas are eradicated or relocated to make way for the Airport, migratory geese will simply choose not to return. “Manhattan Airport is committed to do right by our wildlife population,” said TAFT representative Yael Kaufman. “Natural goose attrition is the only humane means of waterfowl control, and the only approach we officially endorse.”

Press Secretary Audrey Cortlandt said that the Foundation was pleased to allow the migratory waterfowl to leave the area by their own volition, without active human intervention. “These geese will simply be priced out of Manhattan. That’s the way nature intended it.”

Detailed findings of the Foundation’s ongoing bird strike prevention project will be published in early 2010 as part of the larger Feasibility Study for Manhattan Airport.

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