Rats, birds, moles and other hungry little creatures eat away up to 50% of the crops and barn storages each year. Not only does this cause millions of euros in damage annually, but the chemicals and poisons that currently have to ward off rodents and birds end up in the food chain and the cattle-fodder. Needless to say this is unhealthy for animals as well as humans. Dutch startup Bird Control has now teamed up with Liverpool’s Moores University and several other partners to come up with an EU-financed solution that works as a high-tech scarecrow.
Innovative Laser Technology
In order to protect crops in an environmentally friendly way, Delft-based Bird Control group and partners came up with a new kind of (de)fence: A laser that will keep animals away. Animals perceive the approaching laser beam as a physical danger, and as a result they won’t come near the crops again. No more need for polluting chemicals or poisons, and it comes with a proud ‘no animals were harmed in this production’-tag. The device is appropriately called the LIFE Laser Fence. Bird Control’s part in the project is to develop the innovative laser technology for the Fence.
€1.8 M in EU funding
The European Commission has found €1.8 million to sponsor the LIFE Laser Fence idea and to facilitate further research as part of the EU’s LIFE Program. The Commission describes this program as ‘the funding instrument for environment action’. It encourages companies to come up with projects that protect the environment and preserve the nature and biodiversity of Europe. The LIFE Laser Fence project, led by with Liverpool John Moores University started on 1 September this year and will end the 29th of 2019. The total budget is about € 3M and with this money the project intends to develop drones and laser techniques for future use.
The research will take place in Spain and Scotland over the next three years. The aim of the project is to prove that other techniques than just poison will be a good, or even better, cheaper and more eco-friendly solution. Desired outcomes are to decline the use of rodenticide, minimize of chemical exposure to the environment and call for awareness for animal friendly solution to animals eating crops.