Border collies employed to keep geese from Central Experimental Farm

May 20, 2013 at 6:51 PM

OTTAWA, May 20 (UPI) -- Canadian officials said border collies are being employed to keep Canada geese from damaging crops at the Central Experimental Farm in the capital.

Marc Savard, director of operations for Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Center, run by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, said the collies are being employed at $43,000 per year to ward off the birds, which have been causing damage to the crops and destroyed one scientist's entire oat crop, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Monday.

"These scientists are really devoted to their work. It's their life's work. And for them it's a big, big disappointment," Savard said. "The scientist came back on Monday and his crop was gone, and we can't be here 24 hours a day. What the dogs do is that they chase the geese away and they harass them so much that they don't come back. They don't harm them, they just annoy them so they go elsewhere."

Heather Williams of Border Control Bird Dogs, the company that owns the border collies, said the dogs have been working at the farm for three weeks and the goose problem has been significantly reduced.

"As of today there are no geese at all at the farm, but we will expect them to return," Williams said.

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