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Do you ever think about where the prey animals fed in the zoo are coming from? Often, they are bred specifically for animal feed. It is, of course, nice to be able to provide all zoo animals with the right food in this way, but it is not sustainable. Yet there are also more sustainable options for feeding large carnivores: with prey from 'residual streams'. A well-known example of this is day-old chicks. But did you know that geese can also come from such a waste stream? We would like to tell you more about it.

Why are wild geese shot?

In recent years, more and more geese come to the Netherlands. The Netherlands is an ideal destination for geese: during the day, there is enough food to find in the meadows and fields and at night, our waters offer a safe place to sleep.

Unfortunately, these large numbers of geese also cause problems. Farmers are bothered by the damage geese cause and therefore chase the geese off their land. Therefore, geese look for other places and often end up near motorways and airports. Here, you can still find quiet pieces of grass, where no people or other animals come. For the goose, this is an ideal spot, but for the (air)traffic it is a big risk. A collision with a goose can happen in a flash and cause a lot of damage.

Therefore, geese that breed near highways are shot. This is done when they are still on the nest, then the geese have no young left and the eggs will not hatch. So this is a very efficient way to reduce the population. Geese are also caught in other places and then gassed. We receive both geese from our suppliers.

What happens to these geese?

The geese that are shot are not fit for human consumption because of the way they are killed. Geese that are gassed could be used for this purpose, but not in such large numbers. Also, these geese are not allowed to be used in pet food because of the category they fall into in the legislation on the use of animal by-products. The good thing is that these animals can be fed in zoos and to birds of prey. When these geese are not used by zoos, they are removed by Rendac and destroyed, a shame about such a beautiful product!

What is the quality of these geese?

These geese are complete and therefore contain everything a large carnivore needs. The geese have good meat and a good ratio of meat to bone. The organs provide a diet rich in vitamins and minerals. The feathers act as animal fibre, an important part of the natural diet of many carnivorous animals.

After killing, these geese are quickly cooled down and frozen, so that bacteria have little chance to grow and the quality is preserved.

Can these geese be infected with bird flu?

No, these geese are not shot or caught when there is bird flu in the Netherlands.

Why choose geese?

  • Together, we can make sure that these geese do not have to be thrown away.
  • When you replace prey animals that are bred specifically for animals with geese, you make the diet a lot more sustainable.
  • Geese are a nutritionally valuable part of the menu of many large carnivores.
  • Because we can build up stock in our freezers, they are available all year round.

What says...

Rolf Veenhuizen - Head of Animal Care Beekse Bergen:
'We use geese as food for various types of predators. Whole prey animals have a good nutritional value and also ensure that the animals eat longer due to the presence of feathers and bones. Sustainable prey animals that have had a good life themselves, offered at a good price, are always preferred by us and fit well with the objectives of our organisation.'

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