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A mute swan. Photo: NYS DEC
A mute swan. Photo: NYS DEC

NY senator pens bill banning mute swan slaughter

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) A state senator from Queens is trying to stop the slaughter of mute swans proposed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

A bill introduced last week by Sen. Tony Avella would put a two-year moratorium on DEC's plan to eradicate all 2,200 wild mute swans in the state by 2025.

The environmental agency is seeking to have the birds declared a "prohibited invasive species."

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Agency biologists say the elegant white birds have multiplied to the point that they've become a pest that pollutes water, displaces native birds, poses a hazard to aviation and shows aggression toward people.

The birds are most numerous on Long Island, the lower Hudson Valley and along Lake Ontario.

They were imported from Europe in the late 1800s to decorate private estates.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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