When there is an outbreak of Avian Flu it is common for the Government to instruct all poultry farmers to keep their birds inside. This isn’t great for the welfare of the birds, and means free-range producers can no-longer claim or sell their birds or their eggs as free-range.
However, there is a solution: lasers.
We chat to Steinar Henskes from the Bird Control Group about this new approach to biosecurity for poultry farmers…
What is the Agrilaser Autonomic and how does it works?
The Agrilaser Autonomic is an automated laser system to repel birds. Bird perceive the laser beam as a physical danger. So by moving it towards them, they get scared and fly away. The laser beam does not hurt the birds which makes it a humane method.
What is it used for and why?
The technology is used in more than 75 countries around the world at various sites:
Airports: to prevent bird strikes
Farms: to prevent damage to crops
Industrial sites: to prevent hygiene problems
Solar panels: to prevent birds and bird droppings from blocking sunlight and damaging the solar panels
Fishing industry: to prevent birds from being by-catch
Why is this a good choice for farmers and for wildlife?
Farmers suffer from birds who eat the crops. By repelling birds, it can save them 30% of their yield. This results in much more food production and food security.
Birds are very welcome at nature reserve but not in agriculture. Sometimes they are killed to protect the crops. The laser beam is an animal friendly alternative.
Where has it been used in the UK and what were the results?
Quite some airports, but also stadiums: Twickenham Stadium, industrial sites and poultry farms
Although ideal for Avian Flu outbreaks, what other uses does this have for livestock farmers?
Birds eat the food of livestock and spread diseases.
See this video of a livestock farmer in the USA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKtjv1Orv18
Where can we find out more?