Some Winnipeggers upset with Canada Geese eggs being removed along Kenaston Boulevard are hatching new ideas to curb the bird population, like eating the geese.
Efforts by the Urban Goose Working Group to collect and destroy eggs along the busy roadway to reduce the number of vehicle accidents related to the birds have ruffled some people's feathers this spring.
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"Stealing eggs to me is unethical. I don't know how people are explaining this to their children," said Ashlyn Haglund, a graduate student in native studies and urban planning at the University of Manitoba.
Haglund and others who oppose destroying the eggs are proposing their own ideas, such as harvesting the birds and offering them to those who would eat them.
"We have populations in this diverse city who eat geese eggs and who eat goose as traditional food," Haglund said Tuesday.
"If we could find a way to get those to the people who would love that food source, [that] would be a solution."
Althea Guiboche, who hosts the weekly Got Bannock? gatherings in Winnipeg's North End, says looking at urban geese as a food source could help alleviate food security concerns among aboriginal and other populations that have traditionally eaten geese.
"I think we should be able to try and help the less fortunate to eat and have a good meal — a traditional healthy meal that our people have always been eating," she said.
Would killing geese be worse?
But Jim Leafloor, a member of the Urban Goose Working Group, said killing geese would likely anger people even more than destroying eggs would.
"I think most people who have difficulty with egg removal would have even more difficulty with us rounding up geese and killing them, even if we were feeding them to people, and that's part of the reason why we're doing egg management instead of goose management," he said.
Since 2011, the working group has removed thousands of geese eggs from nests along Kenaston and other high-traffic areas.
Manitoba Public Insurance has said moving geese eggs from those high-traffic areas has lowered the number of auto claims being filed.
Haglund said another way to prevent auto collisions involving Canada geese would be to build fences along the roadways to stop the birds from crossing.
Geese hunted in Manitoba every year
About 90,000 geese, including many birds outside of Winnipeg, are harvested by licensed hunters in Manitoba every year, according to the provincial government.
Those who want to hunt geese need to have a provincial game bird hunting licence and a federal migratory game bird hunting permit, as well as a valid hunter education certificate.
The province established two "near-urban" hunting zones in the rural municipalities of Macdonald and Rosser, just outside Winnipeg, about a decade ago, a spokesperson told CBC News in an email.
The City of Winnipeg and the rural municipalities around it have firearm discharge bylaws that prohibit hunting outside the designated zones.
Many geese have been harvested in the near-urban zones during the fall hunting season, according to the province.