The Dutch police have developed a unique way to ensure no drone zones in the Netherlands. Explaining that drones have to potential to be used for criminal purposes, the National Police researched ways to prevent unwanted drone use.
In addition to looking at electronic solutions, the Dutch police wanted to consider physical options such as the use of safety nets to capture drones. One such physical solution was the use of raptors to take down drones as if they were prey. The National Police are working with a Guard from Above which specializes in training birds of prey to take down hostile drones.
In a press release explaining the endeavor, the Dutch police also posted a video demonstrating an eagle capturing a small drone mid-air. (Both the press release and demonstration video are in Dutch).
The press release further notes that in a few months the police will make a decision about the practicality and effectiveness of using raptors as an anti-drone strategy.
The drone used in the demonstration video is fairly small, leading some articles to question how dangerous it would be for the raptors to capture large drones. Guards from Above has an FAQ which provides this answer:
In nature, birds of prey often overpower large and dangerous prey. Their talons have scales, which protect them, naturally, from their victims’ bites. Of course, we are continuously investigating any extra possible protective measures we can take in order to protect our birds.
The Dutch National Police has asked the Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) to research the possible impact on the birds’ claws. The results are not yet known. We are working closely with the Dutch National Police on the development of our services.