Friday marks the last opportunity for public comment on New York state's proposed mute swan cull, a controversial measure meant to control the species, which is considered invasive and known for pushing some other native bird species out.
The plan, which was drafted in December by the state's Department for Environmental Conservation, mandates the capture and killing of all of the state's mute swans -- approximately 2,200 birds -- by the year 2025. But some animal advocates, including state Senator Tony Avella, are trying to stop the cull, saying that it's a cruel way to deal with the swan overpopulation issue.
"I was horrified to learn that our state wildlife agency would make such an extreme, unfounded proposal, and do not believe that the DEC has provided evidence to justify the elimination of these beautiful swans," Avella said this week.
While many New Yorkers view the swans as a beautiful addition to the environment, the DEC argues that, in addition to being an invasive species, swans can bite people, decimate local vegetation and contaminate nearby waters.