All of Helsinki’s parks and seaside areas, where people take their children and where people try to go for picnics during our summer season, are now just not safe or pleasant places.
A recent UK report on the invasion of these geese states the following:
“In addition to being disgusting, the waste has been known to carry such disease-causing organisms as E. coli and salmonella. Since youngsters tend to climb, run and explore when they are playing outside, they might unknowingly come into contact with the birds’ excrement, touch their mouths or rub their eyes and, therefore, develop an infection.
Dogs too, seem to enjoy a good old roll-around in goose poo. If this happens, the dog should be washed off thoroughly, taking care that you also wash your hands thoroughly… Their droppings will also kill grass.”
Source: Pitchcare Magazine, May 2016
Under EU law, (Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds), these birds, along with hundreds of others are protected. However, under the same law Finland may derogate from the provisions of Articles 5 to 8, where there is no other satisfactory solution, for the following reasons:
- in the interests of public health and safety,
- for the protection of flora and fauna;
There can be no doubt that this is an invasive bird and not a natural resident of our cities. Some conservation researchers have warned against acting on the findings of previous studies to reduce their numbers because they suggest that the results are based on anecdotal rather than scientific evidence. Just walk around any big park or beach area and you will see these “wild” birds in their hundreds shitting large blue and black feces on every square meter. This is no anecdote, but a terrible reality that these animals are spoiling our public areas.
It is time to act to clean up our parks and beaches – send Mr. Vapaavuori, the new mayor, your emails.