Mute Swans to Be Saved From Danger

Tony Avella

June 19, 2014

Senator Avella announces passage of his bill to save the majestic birds from impending eradication by the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 

ALBANY, NY—TODAY, State Senator Tony Avella was thrilled to announce the unanimous passage of his state legislation (S6589) by the State Senate, which will establish a two-year moratorium on the Department of Environmental Conservation’s controversial plan to eradicate all wild mute swans in the state by 2025 and declare them a “prohibited species.” The bill will also require DEC to demonstrate that actual damage to the environment or other species have been caused by the mute swan population across the state.

The facts do not support DEC’s plan to eradicate these beautiful creatures,” stated Senator Avella. “With the passage of my bill, I think it is now quite clear that DEC’s careless plan to eradicate the entire mute swan species entailed too many questions and not enough answers. These birds have been around for decades and the population is estimated at only 2,200. How can they be a threat to society? This has been a huge issue for the State of New York and I am glad that we will now have the time to properly examine and hopefully change this plan with legal protections that prevent harm to the swans and allow New York residents to live in harmony with these treasured birds.”

Assembly member Steven Cymbrowitz carried the same-as version of Senator Avella’s legislation in the Assembly, which passed the bill earlier last month. The bill will now be delivered to Governor Cuomo for his signature.

The passage of this legislation is a huge victory for animal rights and environmental protection groups who have rallied alongside Senator Avella against DEC’s plan immediately after it was introduced last year.

Edita Birnkrant – Campaigns Director for Friends of Animals, stated, “Friends of Animals are extremely excited that Senator Avella’s bill to protect New York mute swans has passed. Our members and supporters rallied relentlessly to stop DEC’s brutal plan to wipe out a beloved species of wildlife. We now strongly urge the Governor to pass this bill so that current and future generation of New Yorkers can continue to observe the beauty and grace of these majestic swans.”

Mr. Peter Muller, Chairman of the League of Humane Voters - New York added, “For many of us, swans are a symbol of beauty, grace, and peace, and the imminent threat recently posed to the swans makes Senator Avella’s bill of utmost importance.  Millions of New Yorkers delight in seeing these graceful birds in our parks. We hope that Governor Cuomo will now sign this vital bill into law.”