asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his Department's current expenditure on research into the development and testing of new bird-scaring techniques based on stimuli produced by the birds themselves; what results have been achieved from that research; and if he will make a statement.
In 1987–88 it is anticipated that some £10,000 of ADAS manpower resource will he allocated to bird scaring research and development. In addition to development work to identify ways of increasing the efficiency of existing commercial scaring devices, work is also being undertaken on development of bird scarers based on auditory alarm stimuli using selectively amplified natural distress calls of pest species and on development of scarers based on visual alarm stimuli, involving investigation of aspects of aversive bird behaviour or markings which can be incorporated into models or mechanical scarers. Work has also been done on models which are able to attract certain bird species away from commercially valuable crops to grassland and less valuable areas. ADAS has also recently been able to undertake as part of its commercial services, field trials and other research and development for commercial interests in this area.