2 November 2001

Feline deterrent to guard grain?

A SYSTEM designed to discourage cats from paying unwanted visits to gardens may have wider commercial applications in protecting crops from birds and other animals.

Developed by Hants-based Fluid Power Engineering, the Scair system employs air released from a compressor to cause lengths of nylon tube to flail about for a few seconds. The system is activated either by an animal breaking an infrared beam or on a random time interval.

On a field scale, Fluid Powers Bob Jackson says it would be a matter of scaling up the system – larger compressor and a greater number of nylon tubes. He believes the infrared activation would not be employed.

"I believe, that for vulnerable high value crops, the system could offer some real financial benefits. The highest cost would be the compressor but the tubing and timing systems would be relatively small."

Mr Jackson adds that other uses for Scair could include ponds under threat from Heron attack and grain stores where grain could be contaminated with bird muck. &#42