Stop Airport from Poisoning More Birds


Target: Houston Mayor Annise Parker and the Bush Intercontinental Airport

Goal: Demand that Texan airport stop poisoning birds in the area

Recent news reports show that the Bush Intercontinental Airport in Texas has needlessly poisoned hundreds of birds for health and safety concerns. United Airlines, a major American airline and a part of the Bush Intercontinental Airport, partnered with a pest control contractor to utilize Avitrol, a highly controversial type of poison, to carry out the slaughter. Poisoned corn kernels were placed at twenty different areas around the terminal and United Airline’s maintenance hangar.

Witnesses claim to have seen hundreds of birds dropping out of the sky and then convulsing on the ground. Video footage taken by local news channel KHOU documented the suffering of the poisoned birds. Some spun around in circles as if dizzy and others writhed in agony for up to an hour before death. According to the manufacturer, Avitrol was implemented to frighten off other birds that observe their fellow flock members in distress. Although Avitrol claims that the poison itself is painless, the video footage suggests otherwise. “These deaths look anything but humane,” said Dr. John Hadidian, Senior Scientist with the Humane Society of the United States. “The birds that are dying after ingesting this compound are suffering and in great distress.”

Airport officials have defended their usage of Avitrol. They typically use non-lethal methods to control birds but will also use approved chemicals. Officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services have also concluded that using Avitrol was approved for regulatory guidelines for dealing with nuisance birds. However, since the action was met with much backlash and criticism, a spokesperson for United Airlines said that the airline will soon be working with a contractor to research alternative methods to control the bird population at the airport in the future (KHOU news). Animal advocates suggest alternatives such as netting, removing food sources, birth control, loud noises, and undesirable landscaping to discourage birds from landing in the area. They argue that killing birds will only serve to open the area for even more birds to come in and lead to an unnecessary, endless cycle of killing. Additionally, the introduction of poison into wildlife presents risks since it can affect other species as well.

Please sign this petition to stop the Bush Intercontinental Airport from using lethal poisons to control the bird population around the airport and to encourage the exploration of different alternatives .


Dear Bush Intercontinental Airport,

It is incredibly inhumane to poison the innocent birds around your airport when there are so many alternatives you can take to rid the airport of unwanted birds. Although Avitrol claims to be painless, there is video footage that clearly shows the birds to be in tremendous pain. Currently, Avitrol is banned in San Francisco, Boulder, Colorado, and New York despite it being a federally-approved chemical. The needless slaughter of hundreds of birds was also done in plain sight of your customers, which is traumatizing and cruel.

I urge you to explore non-lethal alternatives to control the bird population and to stop this horrific act of bird slaughter in the future.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Christine Matthews via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

    ich fordere Sie auf, diese besitalische Vergiftungsaktion, der nicht nur Tauben, sondern auch andere Vögel unter unermesslilchen Qualen zum Opfer fallen, unverzüglich einzustellen.
    Richten Sie bitte an anderer Stelle Futterstellen ein, um die Tiere an diesen Futterstellen anzusiedeln, an denen keine Gefahr für den Flugverkehr besteht.
    Ich danke Ihnen für Ihr Verständnis und einen raschen, zeitnahen Stop der Vergiftungsaktion.

  2. Emily March says:

    Birds first inspired planes, so… A little respect never hurt anyone!

  3. Helene Beck Helene Beck says:

    Being a bird-lover I wrote directly to the Bush Intercontinental Airport about this matter, and I received the following response:
    “Thank you for reaching out to us and voicing your concern on this matter. Operating as a municipal department within the City of Houston’s government structure, we are especially attuned to the opinions of those people living within the Houston region and we place a great deal of value on your input, especially when difficult and sensitive situations like this one arise.
    While the Houston Airport System (HAS) did not specifically spearhead the wildlife mitigation steps that were taken on the weekend of July 12, we certainly understand our overall role in determining how things move forward in the future. Fortunately, HAS already has in place two Certified Wildlife Biologists (hired several weeks ago) and their expertise will be extremely valuable as they assist us in determining what wildlife mitigation measures will be employed in the future. These experts will be joined in the group discussion by fellow HAS team members, representatives from City Hall and other key stakeholders who are impacted by the wildlife mitigation matter at Bush Airport.
    Houston Mayor Annise Parker has already indicated in a public statement that “the City will be undertaking a review of all processes in place to mitigate the risks associated with wildlife at our airport system” and United Airlines has also issued a public statement indicating that they “will be working with a contractor to explore alternate methods to control the bird population at Bush Intercontinental Airport”. Hopefully these statements, and the HAS commitment to finding a proper resolution, will assure you that this matter is being addressed in the most serious manner possible.
    We are confident that this review and the subsequent discussion will allow us to find the proper balance in maintaining both a respectful wildlife mitigation program and a high level of operational safety.
    Thank you again for your input. It is sincerely appreciated.”

  4. Reyna Cruzado Reyna Cruzado says:

    PLEASE STOP!!!!!!

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