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