Federal efforts to euthanize thousands of Canada geese living near U.S. airports has sparked a growing backlash from animal-rights activists who say other, less drastic measures are available. "I think aviation safety is just an excuse" to cull, says an official from the group In Defense of Animals, which will rally at N.Y. City Hall later this month to stop the killing. But a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture notes that non-lethal methods already are in use: Last year 14,041 Canada geese were killed, while more than 444,000 were harassed to keep them away from airports.

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