KOTA BHARU: The Kelantan campus of Universiti Sains Malaysia is conducting a pilot project using barn owls as a form of pest control to curb the infestation of rats.
USM chairman Awang Adek Hussin said studies had shown the method to be highly effective in controlling rat populations in agricultural areas and the outskirts of cities.
He said the university’s barn owl research centre will function as a hub for the breeding of barn owls.
“This programme aims to provide services to curb the rat population on campus and neighbouring padi fields along Sungai Kemasin in Bachok,” he said.
Awang Adek said the project will support environmentally friendly agricultural practices and also help farmers to minimise crop loss caused by rats eating harvested produce and paddy in the fields.