A lawmaker in New York is pushing for legislation that would make it easier for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other agencies with wildlife management contracts at the nation’s largest airports to round up and kill nuisance birds to prevent risks to flights. Airborne birds have in the past few years caused a number of flights to nearly crash, including the famous 2009 US Airways Flight 1549 crash in the Hudson River.
The legislation, in particular, targets New York’s Kennedy Airport. The proposed law seeks to make it possible to remove birds from the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge during June and July when they cannot fly, and then to kill them using gas, euthanasia or some other means. The areas of the refuge that would be targeted are those within five miles of the airport. The USDA welcomes the legislation, but opposition from environmental groups poses a challenge to getting it passed.
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