Managers say it’s time for new style of fencing
Metal shutters are on sale for the first time in a couple of months, and in France, the country that has been responsible for the greatest rise in fencing in the world, farmers have gone to the extreme of installing metal shuttering.
In a bid to combat the growing threat of the new wave of fencing, farmers are using metal shuttered fencing to stop pests.
French farmhouses have been installing metal fences to prevent rodents from invading the fields, which have become the next frontier in the fight against pests and diseases, such as the deadly H5N1 flu.
In France, around 1,300 farmers have installed metal shuttings, with around 300 of those fencing in a number of farming areas, including the Normandy region, according to the farmhouse closedters’ association.
In the latest issue of The Farm Journal, the association said that the fencing was part of a wider campaign by farmers to tackle pests.
The fencing was installed by the association to fight the spread of the H5NH1 flu, which is now affecting about 40 per cent of France’s farms, and to reduce the number of people on the farm.
In some areas, the fencing has been so successful that the association has decided to extend it to other areas.
“We have received many calls from farmers who wanted to know how they could do it, but we are now offering the fencing as a reward for farmers who do it,” said Olivier de Tocqueville, the president of the association.
He added that the farmers had taken into account the impact on the environment, as well as on their livelihoods, in choosing the fencing option.
“Farmers want to prevent pests from entering their fields.
It’s also a way to reduce their costs, because we have a lot of equipment that we need to do the fencing,” he said.
The association’s director, Bernard Volland, said that metal shutting was not the only way to protect farmers from pests.
He also said that fencing was a good way to combat a pest, like the plague.
“The main pest here is the plague, which has a very strong ability to infect people,” he told Al Jazeera.
“But it also kills us in a similar way, as we don’t have the capacity to fight it, so fencing can be a solution to that.”
De Tocqueaux said that, for now, the metal shutter was the only option.
He said that while it might not be the best solution for everyone, he would like to see fencing on the farms as a whole.
“If the government does a fence, farmers will have the option of using it.
It could even be a way of keeping the pests out.”
Al Jazeera’s Sophie Schrage reports.