DENVER — Next viewers have had a lot to say ever since our story last week about how the city of Denver is rounding up geese in parks and feeding the meat to needy families.

It prompted viewer PJ to ask “aren’t geese protected as migratory birds?”

The answer to his question is yes, the animals are protected by federal law. With that being said, the federal government can give state and local authorities approval to kill the birds for population management.

PREVIOUS STORY: Denver is rounding up geese to be killed and donated as meat to needy families

It requires a special permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to carry out plans like these. Denver city officials said the U.S. Department of Agriculture – which is carrying out the city’s goose management plan – got the proper permits.

For what it’s worth, the Humane Society said Fish and Wildlife frequently gives out permission to kill Canadian geese in urban and suburban areas.

Denver’s goose meat is being distributed to needy families in the counties surrounding Denver, USDA biologist Kendra Cross said. As a safety precaution, she wouldn’t say where the meat is being processed.

The goal of reducing the goose population in Denver’s parks is improving the health of lakes and ponds, which would absorb 5,000 fewer pounds of goose poop each day.

RELATED: What's with that silly goose in City Park? 

The geese roundups had the Next with Kyle Clark team concerned about Political Reporter Marshall Zelinger’s goose friend, who he calls Father Goose.

He’s a graylag goose, which is different from the Canadian geese that are being rounded up.

This means that Father Goose and the second lady lag goose in City Park were safe from the Denver roundups.

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