Dutch police fight drones with eagles

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Anna Holligan reports that police are looking at protective measures so that the eagles can attack larger drones

Dutch police are employing eagles to take down illegal drones following successful trials.

The force has become the first in the world to recruit birds to tackle the increasing number of drones invading the Dutch skies.

"It's a low-tech solution to a hi-tech problem," police spokesman Dennis Janus said.

Despite concerns raised by animal rights group, the police say the birds are not in any danger.

A number of tests have been conducted since January and police seem confident about the programme.

The eagles will now be deployed whenever drones are believed to be posing a threat to the public or flying close to airports or sensitive areas.

"The eagles see the drones as prey and intercept them as they are flying, before landing where they feel safe with the drone still in their claws," Mr Janus told AFP.

About 100 officers will be trained to work with the eagles.

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
The "flying squad" is expected to be active next summer

After successful trials, Dutch police bought four sea eagle chicks. They are now five months old.

As the police wait for their birds to mature, they will be using eagles supplied by a specialist company, Guard From Above.

The Dutch "flying squad" is expected to to be active next summer.