Bird Bangers Causing Noise Concerns in Essex

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As the wine industry continues to expand in Windsor-Essex, more bird bangers are being used to protect crops.

But according to Essex councillor Steve Bjorkman, the constant gunshot-like sounds are causing concern for local residents.

Bird bangers are machines that put out constant sounds of gunshots to scare away birds.

Bjorkman is calling for a review of the town's noise bylaw when it comes to the auditory deterrent devices.

He says, as it stands now, bylaws in the agricultural sector are quite loose.

"We don't have bylaws that are really enforceable in the farming areas, in the agricultural areas as far as noise. Farmers have to work all through the night sometimes. There's just activities that happen, but it's just important, especially as the wineries are growing. They're kind of the bigger user of these," says Bjorkman.

He says the rules need to be updated to make enforcement easier.

"It will go a long way to giving them, the enforcement officers, the tools needed to say this is a best practice. If they get called into something, this is the best practices from the Department of Agriculture. So, at least, we're speaking from a position of authority on the things we're talking about," says Bjorkman.

He says it's great wineries are expanding, but they need to be good neighbours to nearby residents.

"As they grow, they're encroaching on places that people are already living. There are people that are moving in that aren't aware of what these are. So I just think if there's a way for us to help to educate people who may not be complying with the best standards and these machines are going off in the middle of the night," adds Bjorkman.

Essex council voted unanimously in favour of the bylaw review.

There's no word yet when the report will come back to council for further discussion.