|Dear Governor Cuomo,
For the second consecutive legislative session, the New York State Legislature has spoken on behalf of mute swans by passing a bill designed to rein in the recurring excesses of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
The DEC is charged with the responsibility of carrying out sound wildlife management practices. Nowhere in its mission, as defined by Environmental Conservation Law, is the DEC authorized to set policy that mandates reduction, amounting to eradication, of an entire species of wildlife that has naturally established itself throughout the state. By proposing to exterminate or cripple all 2,200 mute swans in the state of New York, the DEC is clearly violating its mandate.
The New York State Legislature which, unlike the DEC, is authorized to set policy for New York has clearly spoken out on this issue and is demanding a moratorium on the DEC’s proposed action, during which time their putative reasons can be examined by qualified scientists, and the public given an opportunity to be heard.
The League of Humane Voters of New York is concerned with establishing and maintaining sound and consistent policies and laws for the protection of wildlife in New York State. Our members, and the tens of thousands of New York citizens that have spoken out against the DEC’s eccentric proposal that appears to have no basis in law or science, urge you to uphold the New York Legislature’s policy-setting supremacy over the DEC’s apparently capricious and arbitrary proposals that violate its mandate.
By signing bill S1555 and A3675 into law, you will reinforce the right of the New York State Legislature to overrule an agency’s proposals that are repulsive to a large segment of New York’s population and lack scientific or social justification, which, if left unchallenged, position the agency above and outside of any other authority. Most importantly, you will ensure the survival of the beloved mute swan to live unharmed for at least the duration of the moratorium during which time unbiased determinations of the merits of the DEC’s proposal can be made.
The League of Humane Voters of New York State urges and expects this popular and important precedent-setting bill (S1555 and A3675) to be signed into law by the end of this legislative session.
The League of Humane Voters of New York