UnNews:Culling of Staten Islanders protested
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17 August 2013
Seaside Heights, New Jersey -- For years, Staten Islanders have roamed the streets of the tri-state area at will. But now a U.S. Department of Agriculture "capture-removal" operation threatens to end the Islanders' reign permanently.
On August 13, USDA workers began capturing, slaughtering and freezing unlucky Staten Islanders in an effort to control the population at a manageable level.
A USDA spokeswoman stressed Tuesday that tri-state authorities "requested assistance to decrease the problem of a buildup of Islanders on local streets, parks, Irish bars and beaches, and associated noise and sanitation problems as well as aggressive behavior toward area residents." The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation "issued a permit to capture and remove the Islanders to lessen those problems."
But yesterday citizens gathered to protest the slaughter and ask if something else could have been done.
"It's a horrible, horrible thing -- it's disgusting," said one animal lover and vegan who witnessed the culling. "I want to know what I can do for these poor creatures."
"It's really horrifying, it's such a shame," one longtime local resident said Tuesday, requesting anonymity. "Everyone here was in shock. We were told before the beginning of the summer that they were going to be moved to a habitat upstate."
It was not possible to relocate the Islanders without the risk of impacting the gene pool in other communities, USDA workers explained.
In Seaside Heights, one pair of Islanders could still be seen strutting outside a local saloon. "You hate to see them killed -- if you have a heart, you feel bad, and it's too bad they couldn't bring them to a farm," commented a local resident of 26 years who did not want her name published.
"But they leave droppings all over, and it's not sanitary," she continued. "They jump on top of cars, and some people are afraid of them. And sometimes you get to work late because of them."
Illustrating the problem, an ambulance was forced to stop as the Islanders slowly ambled across the street to an unknown destination.
There are no plans for additional culling of Islanders beyond the tri-state area. "No other requests have been received," a spokesperson said on Tuesday. "If asked, the USDA would evaluate the level of damage and nonlethal methods that have been tried to reduce the damage. Recommendations could be made to change the habitat or to disperse those causing the problems."
|This article features first-hand journalism by an UnNews correspondent.|