Fonterra requires that all products entering the milk production system must be approved by the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) as being food safe. The AsureQuality assessments are used to support MPI approvals and regulated dairy company and food beverage risk management programmes.
“It was considered that repellent parts of the product were food derived and relatively safe,” explains Hutchinson. “We consider that if the product gets misused then it is unlikely to cause any food safety risk.”
Made from food-based products such as vegetable oil and cinnamon, Wingo is harmless to humans, animals and the environment. The primary deterrent to pests is the gel oil, while the cinnamon smell creates the longer-term barrier reminding animals that the gel is in the area.
Fonterra’s current Daily Milk Docket message advises farmers nationwide, “Please check your vat for birds before closing it to begin milking. Several loads of milk have had to be disposed of recently due to birds caught in the pump.”
While it is a timely reminder to farmers as to the risk of birds in their sheds, most are at a loss as to how to manage the problem.
Waikato farmer, Paul Matthews, is hugely relieved to have discovered Wingo and, as one of the original users of the product, has been successfully keeping birds out of his sheds for over two years now.
“I’ve tried using a shot gun to get rid of them in the past but you have to hang around a long time,” says Matthews.
Mainly using the gel to rid his tractor of birds, Matthews applies Wingo to the tops of the mirror, the hydraulic hoses, along the crest of the bonnet and anywhere the birds sit.
“I started using it 2-3 years ago and it really works,” confirms Matthews. “There’s a constant stream of birds here so it’s on-going. The birds will come back pretty quickly when you clean it off so you have to keep applying it.”