Dozens of defenseless geese are about to be rounded up and slaughtered in an effort to reduce their presence at Crystal Lake Park in Urbana, Ill. The planned massacre, deceptively labeled as a “charity harvest,” could happen as early as next week, when the geese begin their annual feather molt and are unable to fly.

The Urbana Park District Board of Commissioners approved the plan on May 12. Unless this barbaric event is stopped, 80 terrified geese will be crammed into cages and separated from their babies, who will be left traumatized and vulnerable.

Despite claims that the meat from the slaughtered birds will go to food banks, dead geese are typically discarded due to various health risks associated with eating pesticide-poisoned meat and the high costs of testing it for safety. Poultry plants are also not legally permitted to process goose meat during the current COVID-19 restrictions, as it’s classified as a “heightened risk.”

Animal activists are urging the board and the Mayor of Urbana Diane Marlin to cancel the horrifying event. There are humane alternatives available, including habitat restoration, the establishment of a “tolerance zone” for the geese away from human interference, planting taller grass, and hiring workers to clean the unwanted waste.

We can’t let these pleas fall on deaf ears. Locals from Save Crystal Lake Geese have collaborated with In Defense of Animals’ National Goose Protection Coalition to create a petition urging officials to cancel the harvest and consider other, non-lethal population management strategies. Please take a minute to sign it.

We must spare these innocent geese from needless slaughter. Lady Freethinker stands in solidarity with the organizations and activists who are working tirelessly to halt this cruel event before it’s too late.