Thursday, February 16, 2006

Cane Toads

Who out there remembers the 1987 documentary, "Cane Toads: An Unnatural History"? Well I do. I remember catching the last 20 minutes and thinking it was informative, weird, and hilarious all at the same time.

I can still remember the scene with a guy in a VW camper jerking the wheel left and right to run over the slow moving toads. While the "pop" sounded leaving behind another splattered toad, the driver continued to express his distaste for these creatures and the camera kept rolling with an eerie music playing in the background.

As you might imagine, the film has since picked up a cult following of sorts and I recently downloaded off the net (but have yet to check it out).

"Cane toads were brought to Australia in 1935 in a failed attempt to control sugar cane beetles.

First released in Queensland, they have since multiplied and marched across Australia, poisoning millions of native animals, including crocodiles in world heritage listed Kakadu."

Well guess what? Cane toads are back in the news. Australia is now looking to mash these monsters into a yummy soup to be used as fertilizer. Apparently one of the contraversies over this new idea is the method by which they will collect and kill the toad prior to grinding it up.

He (RSPCA's acting chief executive Lindsay Wilkinson) said hitting toads several times could be considered causing pain and suffering - and would be a contravention of the Animal Welfare Act.

"It is irresponsible and cruel to bash cane toads with implements like golf sticks or cricket bats," Mr Wilkinson said.

"Bashing rarely kills cane toads outright and can leave the creature to suffer a lingering death."

Hmmm, so what are the consequences should you be unlucky enough to get caught holding your favourite putter covered in toad brains?

TERRITORIANS face fines of up to $12,000 for killing cane toads with golf clubs and cricket bats

The ideal solution according the experts is to have a veterinarian euthanase them. However realising that this may not be very economical they have offered an alternative solutions. Hemorrhoid cream.

He said Territorians should don gloves and apply a strip of benzocaine ointment - better known as haemorrhoid cream - for about 25mm along the back of the toad.

"This quickly anaesthetises the toad and then it can be killed humanely by freezing while unconscious," he said.


"Put another toad on the barbie, mate."

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