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Author Topic: Cane Toad Clubbing Sparks Controversy
Storm Saxon
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And if that's not the best title for a newspaper piece ever, I don't know what is.


Cane toad clubbing sparks controversy

A Northern Territory MP has caused controversy by promoting a method of controlling cane toads that he practised in his youth.

Cane toads, Australia's most prolific and despised introduced species, are on a relentless march north and reached the outskirts of Darwin last month.

A national task force has been set up to tackle the problem and the Northern Territory Government is running a competition to find the most successful way of trapping cane toads.

The Federal Liberal Member for Solomon in the Northern Territory, David Tollner, is promoting a strategy he used in his younger days.

"We hit them with cricket bats and golf clubs and the like," he said.

"Back then things were a bit different, most kids had a slug gun or an air rifle and we'd get stuck into them with that sort of stuff."

Mr Tollner is confident people will heed his call to attack the toads.

Then he could say he toad them so.


Animal cruelty

The chief executive of the RSPCA in Darwin, Fiona Cummins, says bludgeoning them to death is inhumane and sends out the wrong message.

"We don't want children picking up their golf club or their cricket bat in the backyard and having a go at any animal," Ms Cummins said.

"Any violence toward any animals, we're certainly not advocating that at all."

She fears encouraging children to attack cane toads will result in attacks on a range of other animals.

"We've had cases recently in Darwin where we've had children having violent acts towards bats; interstate we've had violence towards kittens," Ms Cummins said.

"We're concerned that children see it's OK to be violent toward to any animals... to cats and dogs and rabbits and whatever might become a violent issue for children."

Graeme Sawyer, from the Northern Territory organisation Frog Watch, has other more practical concerns.

"Two issues with golf clubs, one is they're fairly light, they don't have a lot of mass," Mr Sawyer said.

"Whilst they hit cane toads and make a very healthy sounding smack when they do, they don't really have enough mass to crush the cane toad's skull."

But Mr Tollner remains convinced that a swift blow is the best way.

"When you talk about animal rights I think you've got to think about the rights of our native animals as well," Mr Tollner said.

"A cane toad can cause a slow death in a crocodile or a goanna or any other animal that eats it.

"I think at times we overlook our native wildlife and at times certain organisations can merely look at what's best for the toad.

"My view is we've got to eradicate them by any means possible."

While I am toadally sympathetic to not wanting to be cruel to animals, I have to admit, this article made me froget about my troubles and laugh. [Smile]
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Member # 3831

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I'm amphibalent about the issue, although I'm just a tad(pole) uncomfortable with the beating as a means of population control.
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Storm Saxon
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(I got the link off of Neil Gaiman's blog.)
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Could be a boon to local biology teachers . . . although squashed toads would be difficult (not toadally impossible, just challenging) to dissect.
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They're disgusting and they kill dogs (when the dogs eat them that is - they're poisonous). I had one jump on me once and it felt like a dead hand had reached out of the ground and brushed my leg. Yuk!
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This is outrageous. Discriminating against toads on the part of clubs should not be allowed; they need a place to dance and hang out, too!
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Lost Ashes
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Just struck me as ironic that the toads were coming under fire as they neared Darwin.


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