Mute Swans being killed in the Chesapeake Bay

From: stephanie
Sent on: Wednesday, May 13, 2009 10:13 PM
I recently received an email from the "Save Mute Swans" group in Maryland. Unfortunately DNR has been killing these beautiful birds (please see www.savemuteswans.org to see pictures). Please read below and contact Govenor O'Mally to express your disapproval.

"Dear Friend,

Recently, you signed a petition to stop the massacre of mute swans in the Chesapeake Bay. We appreciate your dedication to save swans and ask for your help once again as the outlook for the swans continues to grow grim.

As you know, for years, Maryland's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has been killing thousands of mute swans in the Chesapeake Bay. Since 2005, the agency has killed 4,023, and now, there are less than 450 swans left in the Bay.

The DNR claims that the swans are damaging the ecosystem by consuming aquatic plants, but there is absolutely no evidence to back up this claim and it's established that the major cause of damage to the Bay is the 500 million pounds of pollutants that factory farms and sewage treatment plants dump into the Bay each year. Because there is no conclusive proof that mute swans are native to the U.S., they are being used as a scapegoat in the controversy over the Bay.

In February 2009, The Humane Society of the United States accepted an invitation from DNR to serve on the agency?s Mute Swan Advisory Committee under the assumption that Maryland, having killed thousands of swans over the last 5 years, would honor its previous commitment to stop killing swans when the population reached an environmentally "negligible" level ? approximately 500 according to DNR?s April 2003 management plan. Also to explore and implement better?more compassionate?methods for managing the remaining swans in the future.

To our dismay and utter disgust, we?ve learned that, in spite of the Advisory Committee, DNR is still killing swans and indeed since just March 2009, the agency has killed 125 or more than 20% of the remaining swans. Moreover, the methods they?re using are extraordinarily cruel. Indeed, in cases where swans are captured, the swans? necks are crushed and "separated" with a bolt-cutter like implement that "dislocates" the neck vertebrae/spinal cord.

The Humane Society of the United States has tried to work with the DNR?they have even offered to help set up a humane non-lethal program to control damage if swans are causing any?but the DNR refuses to cooperate and just continues the cruel killing. We need your help.

Take Action

Maryland's governor, Martin O'Malley, can call off the massacre. Speak up for these beautiful birds and tell him that the few swans left in the Chesapeake are not damaging the environment and don't deserve to pay the ultimate price for Bay pollution. Please send your comments to:



http://www.gov.state.md.us/mail/

Please tell your friends and family how they can help, too.


Thank you for helping to save the swans!

Sincerely,



Natalie
www.savemuteswans.org"

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