Anger as 60 Canada geese killed at United Utilities head office

Warrington Guardian: Anger as 60 Canada geese killed at United Utilities head office Anger as 60 Canada geese killed at United Utilities head office

BIRDWATCHERS have said they are disgusted around 60 Canada geese have been killed at Lingley Mere during the breeding season.

United Utilities bosses said the birds have bitten several staff and one woman had to visit her GP leading to the overnight cull on June 26 under what a spokesman described as ‘strict compliance with a licence’.

But keen birdwatcher David Kennedy said the water giant has taken the ‘easiest option’ killing the birds and it was ‘particularly cruel’ to take action when goslings had just been born.

The Runcorn man added: “There were all kinds of options open to them like catching the birds and releasing them somewhere like Pennington Flash or putting up railings around the paths.

“Geese can be a nuisance but if they didn’t want that problem on site then why include two lakes in the first place?

“I have been told there are none left now but when the birds are back in five or six years what will they do next?

“They need a plan going ahead that doesn’t involve slaughtering birds.”

A petition calling for United utilities to ‘pledge to never kill Canada geese again’ has already reached more than 400 signatures online.

A reader, who did not want to be named, added while some staff did not like the birds others regularly fed them and have been outraged by the news.

A spokesman for United Utilities said: “It was a difficult decision to reduce the numbers of Canada geese at Lingley Mere, and we appreciate it wasn’t something everyone would agree with, but it was important we took action to encourage other wildlife to thrive on site and stop people being injured.

“Several staff have been hurt after being bitten by the birds, which was very worrying as we have a children’s nursery on our land.”

The spokesman added the geese were also ‘damaging the environment’ with bird poo leading to high levels of phosphate in the lakes and increased algae preventing pond weed from growing, which lowers oxygen levels and can kill fish.

He added: “Our aim is to increase the biodiversity of Lingley Mere and the lakes and widen the variety of wildlife here and we would never be able to achieve this with such a high level of Canada geese on site.”

Andrew Taylor, director of animal rights group Animal Aid, added United Utilities had to be held to account.

He added: "The company are offering no real information what measures were taken to minimise suffering.

"The idea these birds presented a threat to people and had to be killed for defecating is an extreme and absurd over-reaction."

 

Comments (20)

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12:15pm Wed 9 Jul 14

SickAndTired2 says...

Vile, fascist corporate B******s. Don't want geese on your site? Don't have two pretentious man made lakes on your land to attract them and don't encourage your staff to feed them.

Utter faceless scum of the Earth.
Vile, fascist corporate B******s. Don't want geese on your site? Don't have two pretentious man made lakes on your land to attract them and don't encourage your staff to feed them. Utter faceless scum of the Earth. SickAndTired2
  • Score: 12

12:46pm Wed 9 Jul 14

C. Ommonsense says...

Interesting comment....
The two man made lakes attract a huge range of wildlife including endangered amphibians, dragon flies, moore hens, rats, swans etc. but your comment recommends not having the lakes as the solution?
Thats like getting rid of shops to prevent shoplifting...
would people think differently if it was rats?

PS - There are many signs discouraging staff from feeding the wildlife. Please explain how you know that staff are "Encouraged"

your comments are appreciated but you shouldnt refer to yourself as FACELESS scum LOL!!! (Unless "SickAndTyred2" is your real name????)
Interesting comment.... The two man made lakes attract a huge range of wildlife including endangered amphibians, dragon flies, moore hens, rats, swans etc. but your comment recommends not having the lakes as the solution? Thats like getting rid of shops to prevent shoplifting... would people think differently if it was rats? PS - There are many signs discouraging staff from feeding the wildlife. Please explain how you know that staff are "Encouraged" your comments are appreciated but you shouldnt refer to yourself as FACELESS scum LOL!!! (Unless "SickAndTyred2" is your real name????) C. Ommonsense
  • Score: 29

1:27pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Benjamin Behr says...

So there are geese that bit United Futilites staff and the company response is to kill them. Good job that the Italian defence didn't react similarly during the world cup, or else poor Mr Suarez.....
So there are geese that bit United Futilites staff and the company response is to kill them. Good job that the Italian defence didn't react similarly during the world cup, or else poor Mr Suarez..... Benjamin Behr
  • Score: 17

2:47pm Wed 9 Jul 14

jilldee says...

Where can we find the petition?
Where can we find the petition? jilldee
  • Score: 10

3:34pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Maveric says...

jilldee wrote:
Where can we find the petition?
https://secure.avaaz
.org/en/petition/Bri
an_Tollitt_at_United
_Utilities_Pledge_ne
ver_to_slaughter_Lin
gley_Meres_Canada_ge
ese_ever_again/?sqbO
Thb

Petition here, just copy and paste.
[quote][p][bold]jilldee[/bold] wrote: Where can we find the petition?[/p][/quote]https://secure.avaaz .org/en/petition/Bri an_Tollitt_at_United _Utilities_Pledge_ne ver_to_slaughter_Lin gley_Meres_Canada_ge ese_ever_again/?sqbO Thb Petition here, just copy and paste. Maveric
  • Score: -2

3:45pm Wed 9 Jul 14

tarasmum says...

SickAndTired2 wrote:
Vile, fascist corporate B******s. Don't want geese on your site? Don't have two pretentious man made lakes on your land to attract them and don't encourage your staff to feed them.

Utter faceless scum of the Earth.
Well said !
[quote][p][bold]SickAndTired2[/bold] wrote: Vile, fascist corporate B******s. Don't want geese on your site? Don't have two pretentious man made lakes on your land to attract them and don't encourage your staff to feed them. Utter faceless scum of the Earth.[/p][/quote]Well said ! tarasmum
  • Score: -7

3:48pm Wed 9 Jul 14

tarasmum says...

I wonder how much a 'bite' from a Canada Goose hurts - as much as from say a shark, or a lion or a polar bear !!! Utter tripe and just an excuse for a cruel cull. Poor geese !
I wonder how much a 'bite' from a Canada Goose hurts - as much as from say a shark, or a lion or a polar bear !!! Utter tripe and just an excuse for a cruel cull. Poor geese ! tarasmum
  • Score: 2

6:17pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Freeborn John says...

Have the creatures have been leaving their lake to roam through the corridors of the United Utilities building attacking people then?
It's hard to see how else staff could possibly have been bitten by one, unless they've been seeking the geese out and mithering them, no, the idea is absurd!
Have the creatures have been leaving their lake to roam through the corridors of the United Utilities building attacking people then? It's hard to see how else staff could possibly have been bitten by one, unless they've been seeking the geese out and mithering them, no, the idea is absurd! Freeborn John
  • Score: -4

8:12pm Wed 9 Jul 14

nsrwa5 says...

Disgusting. I ran a campaign to get a cull stopped a couple of years ago in the Lake District and sense was seen and it was stopped. No excuses for this and UU should be ashamed of themselves.
Disgusting. I ran a campaign to get a cull stopped a couple of years ago in the Lake District and sense was seen and it was stopped. No excuses for this and UU should be ashamed of themselves. nsrwa5
  • Score: 8

1:35am Thu 10 Jul 14

reed35 says...

What? corporations culling birds! This just adds more fuel to the already blazing inferno surrounding the ethics of United Utilities (U.U) and there environmental impact on the local vicinity. "Why don't we see a Environment Agency (E.A) versus (U.U) stand off I ask you?" maybe because (U.U) are all powerful and (E.A) are not concerned.
What? corporations culling birds! This just adds more fuel to the already blazing inferno surrounding the ethics of United Utilities (U.U) and there environmental impact on the local vicinity. "Why don't we see a Environment Agency (E.A) versus (U.U) stand off I ask you?" maybe because (U.U) are all powerful and (E.A) are not concerned. reed35
  • Score: 6

8:58am Thu 10 Jul 14

rob_ac_1982 says...

There have been isolated incidents of geese biting staff at the time of the year that they are naturally protective over their goslings. What else would one expect if they get too close to the geese and their nesting areas? There is no issue for the rest of the year, oh, apart from goose excrement littering the pathways.

United Utilities have built a self-proclaimed ‘green’ business park with two man-made lakes and allocated grass land ideal for bird nesting, yet they have taken offence to the wildlife naturally attracted to it. I suspect that the decision to mass cull has stemmed from the obsessive health and safety culture within United Utilities and to cost save from having to regularly clean the pathways around Lingley Mere in season.
There have been isolated incidents of geese biting staff at the time of the year that they are naturally protective over their goslings. What else would one expect if they get too close to the geese and their nesting areas? There is no issue for the rest of the year, oh, apart from goose excrement littering the pathways. United Utilities have built a self-proclaimed ‘green’ business park with two man-made lakes and allocated grass land ideal for bird nesting, yet they have taken offence to the wildlife naturally attracted to it. I suspect that the decision to mass cull has stemmed from the obsessive health and safety culture within United Utilities and to cost save from having to regularly clean the pathways around Lingley Mere in season. rob_ac_1982
  • Score: 16

11:51am Thu 10 Jul 14

Warrington94 says...

I live and have lived next to United Utilities, Lingley Mere for over 10 years now. Although I do not agree with how the matter was dealt with there were a small number of geese (4-5) that were very very vicious, they did not stay around the lakes but went wandering around the site.

My mum, who has worked for the company as long as we have lived here, has been attacked/chased a number of times by the geese and I must stress , while walking on the public footpaths which left her distressed and scared to walk to work. She has also been a witness to countless attacks on other staff members where it has been a struggle to stop the birds as well as a painful and distressing experience for the victim.

They have also now got a nursery on site, which if (god forbid) one of the geese would grab hold of a young child would result in more than a visit to their local GP.

I agree that the way the matter was handled was awful considering that there were only a small number of aggressive birds that could have been moved to a lake less public but United Utilities and the people who made the decision only had their staff and the public at interest, where as if the staff had of been ignored, everyone would be arguing the opposite point of how they are putting the staff (both nursery and U.U) and the children that attend the nursery in danger.
I live and have lived next to United Utilities, Lingley Mere for over 10 years now. Although I do not agree with how the matter was dealt with there were a small number of geese (4-5) that were very very vicious, they did not stay around the lakes but went wandering around the site. My mum, who has worked for the company as long as we have lived here, has been attacked/chased a number of times by the geese and I must stress , while walking on the public footpaths which left her distressed and scared to walk to work. She has also been a witness to countless attacks on other staff members where it has been a struggle to stop the birds as well as a painful and distressing experience for the victim. They have also now got a nursery on site, which if (god forbid) one of the geese would grab hold of a young child would result in more than a visit to their local GP. I agree that the way the matter was handled was awful considering that there were only a small number of aggressive birds that could have been moved to a lake less public but United Utilities and the people who made the decision only had their staff and the public at interest, where as if the staff had of been ignored, everyone would be arguing the opposite point of how they are putting the staff (both nursery and U.U) and the children that attend the nursery in danger. Warrington94
  • Score: -6

8:07pm Thu 10 Jul 14

Barbara K says...

Horribly cruel, especially to slaughter the goslings in front of parent birds. Whoever at UU is responsible should be ashamed of themselves.
Horribly cruel, especially to slaughter the goslings in front of parent birds. Whoever at UU is responsible should be ashamed of themselves. Barbara K
  • Score: 8

8:14pm Thu 10 Jul 14

Kellystad says...

reed35 wrote:
What? corporations culling birds! This just adds more fuel to the already blazing inferno surrounding the ethics of United Utilities (U.U) and there environmental impact on the local vicinity. "Why don't we see a Environment Agency (E.A) versus (U.U) stand off I ask you?" maybe because (U.U) are all powerful and (E.A) are not concerned.
What the hell has it got to do with the Environment Agency? Pathetic rant Reed35.
[quote][p][bold]reed35[/bold] wrote: What? corporations culling birds! This just adds more fuel to the already blazing inferno surrounding the ethics of United Utilities (U.U) and there environmental impact on the local vicinity. "Why don't we see a Environment Agency (E.A) versus (U.U) stand off I ask you?" maybe because (U.U) are all powerful and (E.A) are not concerned.[/p][/quote]What the hell has it got to do with the Environment Agency? Pathetic rant Reed35. Kellystad
  • Score: 0

8:20pm Thu 10 Jul 14

Sankey4 says...

What an very sad story - surely there are other more humane ways to manage the population.
What an very sad story - surely there are other more humane ways to manage the population. Sankey4
  • Score: 7

10:19am Fri 11 Jul 14

RayEdmunds says...

Canada geese are listed as vermin, as their numbers are out of control and they are a non-native species.

They absolutely need to be culled to protect our native species, however I agree that they should be culled before the goslings hatch.

Just like the ever-so-cute but nasty (also non-native) grey squirrel, it is illegal to catch them and release them elsewhere.
Canada geese are listed as vermin, as their numbers are out of control and they are a non-native species. They absolutely need to be culled to protect our native species, however I agree that they should be culled before the goslings hatch. Just like the ever-so-cute but nasty (also non-native) grey squirrel, it is illegal to catch them and release them elsewhere. RayEdmunds
  • Score: 1

9:28pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Bluenose75 says...

United Utilities is a very responsible company and I doubt they took this decision lightly. Look at the RSPB partnership at Dovestones, the wildlife trail at Leigh Training Centre and the many other projects and partnerships that UU have and invest in to preserve the environment and wildlife. There are some very emotive messages on here, unfortunately, most of them are without substance. It's easy to throw mud, but UU is an exception to the typically large and brutal corporations. A little bit of research would demonstrate this.
United Utilities is a very responsible company and I doubt they took this decision lightly. Look at the RSPB partnership at Dovestones, the wildlife trail at Leigh Training Centre and the many other projects and partnerships that UU have and invest in to preserve the environment and wildlife. There are some very emotive messages on here, unfortunately, most of them are without substance. It's easy to throw mud, but UU is an exception to the typically large and brutal corporations. A little bit of research would demonstrate this. Bluenose75
  • Score: 0

1:34am Sat 12 Jul 14

Bluenose75 says...

reed35 wrote:
What? corporations culling birds! This just adds more fuel to the already blazing inferno surrounding the ethics of United Utilities (U.U) and there environmental impact on the local vicinity. "Why don't we see a Environment Agency (E.A) versus (U.U) stand off I ask you?" maybe because (U.U) are all powerful and (E.A) are not concerned.
UU are one of the most regulated businesses in the UK. OFWAT, DEFRA, CCW and yes the EA. They also work with Natural England, The RSPB, Canal & Rivers Trust, and many more. To suggest they are 'All Powerful' is ridiculous. I'd be interested to hear exactly which of UUs ethics concern you.
[quote][p][bold]reed35[/bold] wrote: What? corporations culling birds! This just adds more fuel to the already blazing inferno surrounding the ethics of United Utilities (U.U) and there environmental impact on the local vicinity. "Why don't we see a Environment Agency (E.A) versus (U.U) stand off I ask you?" maybe because (U.U) are all powerful and (E.A) are not concerned.[/p][/quote]UU are one of the most regulated businesses in the UK. OFWAT, DEFRA, CCW and yes the EA. They also work with Natural England, The RSPB, Canal & Rivers Trust, and many more. To suggest they are 'All Powerful' is ridiculous. I'd be interested to hear exactly which of UUs ethics concern you. Bluenose75
  • Score: 0

3:36pm Sun 13 Jul 14

rob_ac_1982 says...

Bluenose75 wrote:
United Utilities is a very responsible company and I doubt they took this decision lightly. Look at the RSPB partnership at Dovestones, the wildlife trail at Leigh Training Centre and the many other projects and partnerships that UU have and invest in to preserve the environment and wildlife. There are some very emotive messages on here, unfortunately, most of them are without substance. It's easy to throw mud, but UU is an exception to the typically large and brutal corporations. A little bit of research would demonstrate this.
When United Utilities cease being responsible some of the most polluted waterways, coastal waters and beaches in the United Kingdom then this statement will carry some credence. The company are environmentally responsible when it suits them.
[quote][p][bold]Bluenose75[/bold] wrote: United Utilities is a very responsible company and I doubt they took this decision lightly. Look at the RSPB partnership at Dovestones, the wildlife trail at Leigh Training Centre and the many other projects and partnerships that UU have and invest in to preserve the environment and wildlife. There are some very emotive messages on here, unfortunately, most of them are without substance. It's easy to throw mud, but UU is an exception to the typically large and brutal corporations. A little bit of research would demonstrate this.[/p][/quote]When United Utilities cease being responsible some of the most polluted waterways, coastal waters and beaches in the United Kingdom then this statement will carry some credence. The company are environmentally responsible when it suits them. rob_ac_1982
  • Score: 7

6:29am Fri 18 Jul 14

Barbara K says...

Bluenose75 wrote:
United Utilities is a very responsible company and I doubt they took this decision lightly. Look at the RSPB partnership at Dovestones, the wildlife trail at Leigh Training Centre and the many other projects and partnerships that UU have and invest in to preserve the environment and wildlife. There are some very emotive messages on here, unfortunately, most of them are without substance. It's easy to throw mud, but UU is an exception to the typically large and brutal corporations. A little bit of research would demonstrate this.
Which of the UU communications team wrote this rubbish - or could it be the person who instigated the slaughter? They wouldn't do any press or radio interviews to explain their decision (even though they have a Natural Environment Lead), provide any concrete evidence of how the decision reached, by who and why but respond facelessly that UU is 'a very responsible company' - their actions prove otherwise. Abhorrent.
[quote][p][bold]Bluenose75[/bold] wrote: United Utilities is a very responsible company and I doubt they took this decision lightly. Look at the RSPB partnership at Dovestones, the wildlife trail at Leigh Training Centre and the many other projects and partnerships that UU have and invest in to preserve the environment and wildlife. There are some very emotive messages on here, unfortunately, most of them are without substance. It's easy to throw mud, but UU is an exception to the typically large and brutal corporations. A little bit of research would demonstrate this.[/p][/quote]Which of the UU communications team wrote this rubbish - or could it be the person who instigated the slaughter? They wouldn't do any press or radio interviews to explain their decision (even though they have a Natural Environment Lead), provide any concrete evidence of how the decision reached, by who and why but respond facelessly that UU is 'a very responsible company' - their actions prove otherwise. Abhorrent. Barbara K
  • Score: 6

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