Governor Paterson Announces Donation Of Thousands Of Pheasants


Mar 11, 2001
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Governor Paterson Announces Donation Of Thousands Of Pheasants To Local Food Banks, Soup Kitchens, And Food Pantries


Says Closure of State-Operated Pheasant Farm Will Save Nearly $750,000

Governor David A. Paterson today announced the closure of the Reynolds Game Farm and authorized the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to donate nearly 8,000 of the farm's pheasants to needy families.

DEC owns and operates the farm, which breeds and releases pheasants into the wild for sporting purposes. The closure is part of the State's ongoing cost containment efforts and will save up to $750,000 in annual operation costs. These savings will be reflected in the 2009-2010 Executive Budget, which the Governor will release on Tuesday, December 16.

The State has made arrangements for the pheasants to be transported to a New York farm for processing and packaging. After that, the pheasants will be donated to a food bank in the Southern Tier for distribution to hungry families in the region.

"While I understand the economic and recreational importance of pheasant hunting to many of New York's outdoor enthusiasts, we must focus our limited resources in this difficult fiscal crisis and look for innovative ways to meet the needs of the people of the State," said Governor Paterson.

"The closure of the Reynolds Game Farm presents us with one such opportunity. We are able to both take action to assist in closing our record budget deficit and also offer struggling families nutritional food this holiday season and into the New Year."

DEC considered several options in preparation of the farm's closure. However, it found neither relocation nor release to the wild viable. A small number of pheasants may be taken by private game breeders or farms. However, stocking facilities were either unwilling or ill-equipped to accept the entire pheasant flock.

The pheasants have had their wing feathers clipped and are unable to fly, an unsuitable condition for release into the wild. Cornell University will perform avian influenza disease testing and certification free of charge. Once the pheasants are processed and packaged, they will then be donated to a food bank in the Southern Tier.

"During this difficult economic period, food banks will undoubtedly be stretched to their limits and this donation will go a long way to meeting the needs of struggling families in the Southern Tier," said David Hansell, Commissioner for the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

Media Contact:
Errol Crockfield (212) 681-4640 or

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