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Dutch plan to gas troublesome airport geese
by Staff Writers
The Hague (AFP) April 16, 2012

Schiphol airport.

Dutch authorities will use lethal gas to reduce the exploding goose population around Amsterdam's Schiphol airport as it is threatening air traffic, an official said on Monday.

"New measures are being introduced to reduce the goose population around the airport," environment ministry spokeswoman Karin van Rooijen told AFP.

"One of the new measures will be gassing the geese with a certain type of carbon dioxide."

Some 50,000 geese live around Schiphol -- 14 times more than in 2005 -- and the Netherlands particularly "holds a special attraction for geese" with its canals and lakes, she said.

The number of bird strikes were increasing, forcing planes to either make emergency landings or abort take-offs, she added.

Government, provincial authorities, farmers' organisations and environmental groups meanwhile signed a pact Monday to fight the menace.

It included the continued shooting of geese and collecting eggs within a 10 kilometre (six mile) radius of the airport.

Farmers also pledged to plough their fields immediately after the harvest and bury seeds in the soil to stop them from serving as birdfeed.

The airport will also use radars to detect the presence of geese "presenting a risk" during take-off and landing, Van Rooijen said.

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