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Read the timetable of every incident that led to two ‘aggressive’ geese being removed from a canal in Cwmbran

Geese on a canal
The canal at Two Locks

Torfaen Council has revealed the timetable of incidents that led to two ‘aggressive’ geese being rehomed from the canal in Two Locks. Since the geese were removed there have been no complaints about the remaining geese causing problems with people walking on the towpath.

In March the council received reports of some geese being ‘aggressive’ to people walking on the towpath. This led to two of the geese being ‘rehomed’ at a new location in Torfaen.

Councillor Elizabeth Haynes, Two Locks Ward, submitted the petition on behalf of residents at a previous Council meeting. Officers have published a report of their response to the petition ready for next week’s Council meeting.

Residents wanted evidence that the geese were in an ‘appropriate environment’, had ‘human contact’ and were able to mix with other wildfowl. The report says that officers have visited the geese at their new home on ‘several occasions’  to check on their ‘safety and welfare’ and ‘are satisfied they are being well looked after…the Council can advise the owners are experienced in keeping animals and intend to care for the geese long-term.’

The timetable of incidents

  • 6 March 22- A councillor asked for advice after geese were reported to be ‘pecking people’ along the canal. It was alleged than an elderly man and child had been attacked and one elderly lady had fallen in the canal attempting to escape the geese.
  • 10 March 22- A second councillor emailed after receiving a complaint from a resident who said they had been ‘bitten on the leg’ when sat near the canal. The councillor said they had received other complaints about the geese and wanted advice as the canal was used by residents of all ages. The email said the ‘number of geese’ was sometimes frightening.
  • 22 March 22- A council officer and councillor visited the site together. Two geese were identified as ‘vocal and aggressive’ and ‘charged’ the officer. The officer was ‘pecked’. During this visit several people walking along the canal stopped to tell the officer that they too had been ‘pecked’ by the geese.
  • 2 April 22- A resident emailed the council to say the geese needed to be removed as they were ‘nasty and dangerous’. The resident said they had been attacked on two occasions and witnessed incidents involving a woman and her young son, and a man and his dog. The email ended by saying if the geese keep ‘attacking people’ they would get hurt themselves.
  • 5 April 22- A councillor emailed and said they had been told an elderly couple were ‘attacked’ by the geese on the weekend.

What happened next following these complaints?

Within a day of the 5 April email from a councillor, officers had decided to rehome the two ‘aggressive’ geese.  They felt that the geese were also in danger of being hurt from dogs or walkers trying to defend themselves. Officers spoke to the RSPA and a local wildfowl charity but as the geese were not injured they could not help.

They also looked at Greenmeadow Community Farm but because the geese were aggressive and the farm was open to the public this would ‘displace the issue from one location to another, and the risk of harm could remain’.

A contractor collected the two geese, temporarily taped their beaks to avoid injury to the staff and transported them in a crate to their new home in Torfaen. Officers concluded that the ‘risk of not intervening and removing the two aggressive geese was deemed unacceptable due to the potential for injury to the geese and users of the canal towpath’.

The report and response to the petition will be discussed at Torfaen Council’s meeting on Tuesday 26 July.











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Read the timetable of every incident that led to two ‘aggressive’ geese being removed from a canal in Cwmbran