Vultures in James City County legally killed, neighbors still upset

Posted at 4:54 PM, Jul 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-29 18:33:57-04

JAMES CITY COUNTY, Va. - On Wednesday, News 3 reported on how several dead vultures, hanging by their feet, were seen at a public dump in James City County.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Service, the birds are a protected species, but can be killed if a certain permit is obtained. A spokesperson with the department says they got that permit so they could kill the birds legally.

That is something that doesn't sit right with neighbors.

One made who saw the birds asked, "If anyone in the public were to do that it would be jail time and fines, so are the laws made for some or all?"

As for George Mathews, Curatorial Director of the Virginia Living Museum, having birds killed because they are doing what they are supposed to do is upsetting.

"They are actually the garbage men of the animal world so they are very important to pick up things on the side of the road like roadkill things that people don't want to deal with," said Mathews.

After getting the permit, the USDA Wildlife Service says they euthanized the birds. Once they were dead, the birds were hung upside down by the feet as a way to keep away live vultures from coming to the site, something the USDA Wildlife Service says is a proven method.

PETA released this statement in response to the birds being killed and hung near the public dump.

"Killing birds and hanging their corpses as effigies in order to keep other birds away from a landfill is not only cruel but also medieval, as modern, nonlethal methods are effective and widely available. For example, Bird-X, an online company specializing in humane control solutions, offers several sonic devices that emit a combination of bird distress calls, predator cries, and other threatening sounds to create the perception of a 6-acre danger zone for unwanted birds. County officials should listen to compassionate residents, who rightfully find this violent method absurd, and switch to a humane approach immediately."

For more information about the permit and killing of vultures, click here.