The Dutch police has been training eagles to take down drones since 2015, and on 13 September it announced that the eagles are ready to be put into action. Where some forces are investing in expensive signal jamming technology, the Dutch police has instead opted for four sea eagles. The birds have been trained since birth to take on drones, and the announcement makes the Netherlands the first country to use birds of prey to solve the growing problem of rogue UAVs.
The birds, which are now five months old, will be operated by up to 100 officers to disable drones that stray into airports, military bases or other sensitive areas. They have been trained and supplied by Guards From Above.
Although animal rights activists have raised concerns about the programme, the Dutch police service was quick to reassure them that no birds were hurt during the training programme. Police spokesperson Dennis Janus said: “None of the eagles were hurt, but as for the drones, none of them survived. 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.”