Could eagles stop drug-laden drones from getting into prisons?

Police in Holland have been training eagles to attack drones. Credit: Reuters/Dutch Police handout

The government has suggested that eagles might be the way to stop drones from getting drugs into British prisons.

Prisons minister Sam Gyimah suggested the UK follow the example of Holland, and use the birds to attack and take down the remote controlled flying devices.

Drones are one way smugglers get contraband, including drugs, over barbed wire fences and high walls to the prisoners beyond.

"The new threat by drones is a game changer, not just for prisons but other parts of government," Mr Gyimah said during questions in the House of Commons.

"That is why I'm working with ministers across the government to engage with drone manufacturers to find a solution to this problem.

He also said he was keeping a close eye on what is happening internationally, particularly in Holland. "I'm sure we will find a solution in the UK which will take off."

According to data on England and Wales obtained by the Press Association, at least 33 drones were detected around prisons in 2015. This was two higher than 2014. In 2013, none were detected at all.