In a world with increasing demands for food and energy, effective and long lasting animal control is crucial. Animals are naturally drawn to food supplies in agricultural areas but this leads to consequences for both animals and farmers. Chemical poisons are often used to control rodent populations on farms, where these animals destroy crops, eat livestock feed and can transmit disease. However, rodenticides may also put other species at risk. Studies in Europe show that anticoagulant rodenticides contribute to the deaths of a variety of mammals and birds. The poisons accumulate in the food chain, so for animals that prey on or scavenge rodents this repeated exposure may be fatal. Furthermore, farmers lose billions of euros each year through damages in crop production.
A virtual fence is then an interesting solution to contain animals in an area or keep them out of a defined range. This project presents an innovative technology, Agrilaser, to keep animals away from productive fields while maintaining animal welfare. Its application ensures a safer working environment without chemicals, thereby preventing accidental poisoning for both animals and humans.
The LIFE Laser Fence project aims to develop an innovative technology, Agrilaser, to keep animals away from agricultural fields. It will be demonstrated in Scotland and Spain. The technology involves using a laser fence as an alternative to chemicals or harmful barriers. It addresses animal biodiversity due to poisoning, in compliance with the EU Biodiversity Strategy. It also forms part of a broader strategy for creating a non-toxic environment, in support of EU Regulation REACH (No 1907/2006) and EU Regulation No 528/2012.
The project’s main objectives are to demonstrate:
1. Reduced exposure to toxic chemicals through the application of innovative laser systems, preventing poison entering food chains
2. The use and improvement of laser systems to reduce impacts on non-target species of birds and animals in ecologically sensitive areas, where nature conservation increasingly conflicts with agriculture
3. Cost-efficient agricultural management practices for preventing animals intruding into fields, thanks to the incorporation of non-harmful technologies such as laser fences and drones