The Brown & Crouppen Legal Lens takes a closer look at everyday legal issues and gives you a better understanding of topics that may affect you.

OVERLAND, Mo. – A pair of Canada geese has been blocking the entrances to Missouri state office buildings in Overland. Andrea McNairy, managing attorney at Brown & Crouppen, examines how people can proceed legally when attempting to remove them?

“Not much you can do because they are protected under federal and state law,” she said. “…Under the Migratory Bird Treaty (Act), it makes it illegal to go after one in any way, capture or kill, or attempt to do any of that – with the bird, the nest, or the eggs.”

Under Missouri state law, any person who takes, kills, possesses, any such wildlife can be charged with a misdemeanor.

Is there anything can do because of nuisance from law standpoint?

“The easiest and most humane way to get geese to go away is the lawful removal of the eggs,” McNairy said.

You can do this for free by going on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services website and applying for a depredation order.

“What that does is if you register your property and document your activity and send it back to the Fish and Wildlife Services, they will allow you to collect the eggs and dispose of them in the woods,” McNairy said.

“You have to be careful because the geese are very protective right now because they are guarding their nests and eggs. But that is one way to discourage them from being on your property.” 

If a local business has eggs located near their door, can a private citizen sue the business in order to get the eggs removed?

“Probably not. Business owners do have responsibility to keep their property free of dangerous things. But most cases have found that unless property owner doing something to attract geese, these are simply wild animals being wild animals.”