published Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Chattanooga State geese euthanized

Photo by WRCB-TV Channel 3 /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

This story is featured in today's TimesFreePress newscast.

Should the USDA have killed Chattanooga State's geese?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program killed about 100 geese that it removed from Chattanooga State’s Amnicola Highway campus last week.

School officials asked the USDA to remove the Canada geese about two weeks ago, said Keith Blanton, the supervisor of the department’s Knoxville District. The birds were all over campus, and they were out of control.

Chattanooga State President Jim Catanzaro said geese often ran in front of cars. And they left behind between 50 and 100 pounds of poop every day, which school officials said was a health hazard and made keeping the campus clean too difficult.

Catanzaro said he was told the USDA would take the geese to a preserve in West Tennessee.

“I certainly did not know they were going to be killed,” he said.

But Blanton said that is not true. When members of the USDA collected the geese on July 3, he said, they told school officials the USDA could do two things: find a place to put the geese or euthanize them.

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