The results are in from a weeks-long experiment at Amsterdam's Schiphol International Airport, using pigs to keep the area around the airport free of the annoying geese that occasionally endanger planes taking off or landing.
It appears that the geese don't like the pigs and avoid them. Added to that, the pigs efficiently eat up the stubble left after the beet harvest, depriving the geese of both food and nesting space.
The squad of twenty pigs hired from a specialty company with funds from the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and airport operator Royal Schiphol Group, were housed in an area of beet fields near the airport, surrounded by an electric fence. Nearby areas with similar growth had no pigs.
Schiphol spokesperson Wellemeike Koster said the experiment was successful enough that they are considering expanding the program. She said that "Our first impression is that few geese were spotted in the [pigs’] area. And the pigs did their job by eating the crop residues, which are now gone. All data collected from the bird radar and visual observations (among other things) will be analysed in the coming months."
A co-owner of the pigs told DutchNews that he thinks that with perhaps fifty pigs it would be possible to cover the whole beet field area and keep the geese at bay.
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