This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)

This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)

Controversial Vernon goose cull won’t fly this year

Necessary permit procedures held up at a federal level

A controversial goose cull planned for Vernon will likely not happen this year due to a backlog in paperwork.

Vernon council voted in favour of the cull, aimed to destroy between 100-150 geese, in January, but applications would first have to be approved by the provincial and federal governments.

In an update to council, city staff said the federal government indicated they “do not have the capacity to review the complex application in order to complete the cull this year.”

But Vernon isn’t alone.

“Our application is not the only one that is facing the same issues,” a report to council reads. “Without the approval from the federal government, staff cannot complete the cull.”

The cull, aimed at cleaning up local beaches and parks saturated in goose poo, has garnered substantial support and flak from constituents and visitors.

June was identified as the ideal time for the cull to take place as the birds would have molted, losing their flight feathers. But from the beginning, council worried the timeline would be too tight.

The birds would be rounded up and corralled into a trailer. Carcasses would be disposed of at the landfill or animal compost with an estimated cost of $4,000. Federal regulation does not allow for the distribution of meat. The Okanagan Indian Band turned down the offer to use the carcasses for ceremonial purposes.

The cull, which was originally budgeted at $41,000, will come before council again on June 28 for direction.

READ MORE: Tight timeline for Vernon goose cull: report

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