Field & Stream Online Editors

For nine years the people of Malvern, Ohio have tried to get rid of the pesky Canada geese that have been spoiling area beaches and golf courses. They’ve participated in group hunts and used fireworks to scare them away. They’ve even tried shaking the eggs until the inside was nothing but mush. But the birds keep coming back, and residents are ready to try a more drastic measure: Heads are about to roll.

According to the Associated Press, the housing association of a gated community on Lake Mohawk has decided to resort to a mass beheading of geese. Plans for a “roundup” have been set, where birds that are molting and unable to fly will be herded together, trapped, and sorted. The goslings will be relocated, while their parents will be sent to the Guillotine.

Although all residents admit that the birds are a nuisance, some are upset about the method of removal-one even called the beheadings “barbaric and crude.” Resident Jennifer Collins said she thinks safer alternatives should be considered such as placing sticks of Mylar in areas where geese nest or planting a different type of grass seed that tastes bitter to the birds. “If we don’t do something else we are going to keep on getting geese and they are going to keep murdering them,” Collins told the AP.

And her concerns about future beheadings are not so far fetched. Decapitation as an extermination method is approved by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which gave the community a generous permit to capture 100 geese. But Damon Greer, a biologist with the Division of Wildlife, estimates that only 20 to 40 geese will need to be taken–this year. Greer added that decapitation is a typical and humane method because it kills the animals instantly and without pain. People have been chopping off bird heads for ages, he points out: “It’s the same way that grandma did when she raised chicken out on the farm.”