AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Officials in the Netherlands said the country's plan to kill more than 500,000 geese to control the population and limit damage to crops has been put on hold.
Provincial lawmakers signed an agreement, along with the bird protection group Vogelbescherming, in 2011 to cull the geese using gas starting in 2014.
Now that agreement has been put aside after other animal rights groups called for ministerial intervention, Dutchnews.nl reported Wednesday.
Animal rights group Dierenbescherming wrote to farm minister Sharon Dijksma, telling her gassing is "very painful," labor-intensive and would cost more to execute than the damage the geese are causing to crops.
The government has agreed to look at alternative ways of cutting the geese numbers, including destroying nests and eggs, and making the landscape less attractive to the birds.