If the argument is that mute swans are an invasive species, please consider that so, too, are the pheasants that the state Department of Environmental Conservation releases annually for hunters to shoot ["New plan would sterilize swans," News, March 10].

With the push to reduce the number of about 2,200 mute swans in New York, it seems clear that any animal that is not deemed "huntable" or profitable is targeted.

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How in good conscience can the DEC decide to sterilize one species on state-managed lands? Is the purpose to free up more space and food sources for ducks in areas where hunting is allowed? If not, then why is the DEC considering allowing some swans to remain in urban, public areas?

Sterilizing the swans is not only cruel, but it is also unnecessary, and I believe the vast majority of the public disagrees with this approach.

Last year, the State Legislature passed a bill to put off any action on mute swans for two years, so that scientific studies could prove the alleged damage swans do, but Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo vetoed the bill. If this damage is legitimate, there should be no hesitation to collect sound data. It's irresponsible.

Christy Hawkins, Calverton