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Mute Swans Spared

Mute Swan

ALBANY (AP) New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vetoed legislation that would have blocked a plan to control the population of mute swans.

The legislation would have required the state's Department of Environmental Conservation to hold additional public meetings and focus on non-lethal means of controlling the population.

Cuomo said the legislation was unnecessary since the state has already backed off an earlier plan to kill the birds in the face of criticism.

The birds are a non-native species that wildlife biologists say pose a threat to native species and the environment.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation initially proposed shooting or gassing the birds, sterilizing them and destroying their eggs.

The state's new management plan seeks to limit or reduce their spread and prioritizes non-lethal means of population control.

One of the larger concentrations of the mute swans is at the mouth of Irondequoit Bay.

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