There are currently only an estimated 40 mute swans residing in Delaware, hardly enough to provide the beauty and grace Delaware’s citizens want to see and protect. Yet Fish and Wildlife officials with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) used shotguns to kill two just a few weeks ago, with no public notice or opportunity for discussion with caring citizens.
Targeted swans were euthanized by being forced into an isolated area where they could be “safely” shot. Citizens who were anxious to protect the swans and eliminate any problems were not notified or asked to help. This can hardly be considered humane or good public policy. Residents of Delaware have already offered to help oiling swan eggs (a method to prevent eggs from hatching) and to collar and band any pet swans, yet the government has remained callous and unresponsive. This has resulted in justifiable public outrage and inflamed public opinion.
In response to this public outrage, The DNREC has recently declared a “temporary” moratorium on the killing of mute swans in the state of Delaware. The moratorium should be made permanent to prevent the unnecessary and cruel killing of the remaining 40 swans in Delaware. Meanwhile concerned citizens and Fish and Wildlife officials should work together to develop guidelines that guarantee the survival of a naturalized vital population of swans and require the use of humane non-lethal controls to resolve legitimate conflicts and mandate that lethal control may be exercised only as a last resort, only on a case by case basis and only after involvement with concerned citizens. If the moratorium can be made permanent, perhaps the unnecessary and cruel killing of the remaining 40 swans in Delaware can be prevented and some growth of the population can make up for those animals that have been callously and unnecessarily killed.
The citizens of Delaware have spoken out against the killing of their state's swans and are desperate for a solution.
We commend the DNREC for declaring a temporary moratorium on the killing of mute swans. Yet, we are outraged that a pair of mute swans was recently shot to death for no reason and with no warning. There are only 40 mute swans left in Delaware.
We urge Governor Markell to direct the DNREC to make the moratorium permanent so that this killing is stopped. Mute swans play an important in Delaware’s history and it is wrong and cruel to allow them to be brutally killed for no reason.