Stop Killing Snowy Owls at Airport

Snowy Owl

Target: Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio

Goal: Stop the killing of snowy owls at the John F. Kennedy Airport

In December 2013, three snowy owls were shot and killed at the John F. Kennedy airport by contractors because these birds poised a threat to traffic control. The birds made the airport their home because the location looked similar to their homes in the Arctic Tundra. Animal conservationists were outraged as another nearby airport, Logan International Airport in Boston, had were working with animal conversation groups to relocate these owls to new homes. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey stated that they would immediately trap and relocate the snowy owls instead of shooting them. However, animal conversation groups do not believe that this statement will be enough to ensure the safety of the snowy owl. As a lawsuit is being pursued to ensure the birds’ relocation from the airport, support must be garnered to ensure these owls are not shot in the future.

Under federal law, the agencies or contractors that were involved in shooting the snowy owls have to disclose the range and impact of the bird-reduction program, and it also has to discuss all reasonable alternatives to lethal options. None of these measures were fulfilled, hence why animal conversation group Friends of Animals, is pursuing a lawsuit against John F. Kennedy Airport. The group also wants to know more information about how the airport dealt with these birds, as more than ten thousand of these owls were killed since 1994. The group understands that the owls pose a threat to safety, but killing them is unnecessary as the owls are easily caught.

Snowy owls are known to make their homes on airport fields because they prefer the open terrain to hunt in. While these birds are not endangered, the airport shouldn’t have the right to shoot these birds. Instead, they should be relocated to a new home, as this is the ethical and right thing to do. While animal conservation group Friends of Animals continues to pursue a lawsuit, the public should keep pressing the airport to deal with these animals in a humane and moral manner. Urge the mayor of New York to stop the killing of snowy owls, and instead opt for reasonable options, such as relocation.


Dear Mayor Bill de Blasio,

In December 2013, the John F. Kennedy Airport lost three snowy owls because they posed a safety concern. When the public found out that these birds were inhumanly shot, many were outraged. A nearby airport in Boston would relocate their owls instead of shooting them, and the public were wondering why the John F. Kennedy Airport couldn’t do the same thing. The policy at the airport has since been changed, but an animal conversation group does not believe that this new policy will be followed.

Because of the airport’s lack of transparency on this issue, animal rights group, Friends of Animals, is seeking a lawsuit. In the meantime, I am pressuring the airport to keep their word on this policy of relocating the owls. While I understand that these animals are not endangered, they are still creatures who deserve the right to live.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Bert de Tilly via Wikimedia Commons

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One Comment

  1. Emily March says:

    The owls must have been there light-years before any planes…They are a rare and wonderful species and should not be randomly killed out of facility and ignorance! Find alternatives please!

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