Toad Day Out

Residents of Australia’s Queensland have figured out a way to eradicate (or at least slow down the spread of) cane toads. What organizers hope will be an annual event, the so-called Toad Day Out occurred this weekend. In what can only be described as an act of revenge, the captured toads will become fertilizer.

As part of north Queensland’s inaugural Toad Day Out, people in Cairns will be encouraged to collect as many toads as they can.

They’ll be euthanased in freezers, taken to an environmental waste management plant and processed with other waste to make agricultural compost.

Manager of the SITA plant, Haydn Slattery, says more than 100kg of toads may be collected.

“Each year the Cairns plant produces 25,000 tonnes of compost, and it predominantly goes to the canefields,” he said.

“I’m sure (the growers) will appreciate the fact that the toad they know so well is at last putting something back.”

The captured toads must be alive when brought in to the weigh stations and are then killed by either freezing them or putting them into a plastic bag full of carbon dioxide gas. This, apparently, gets high marks from the Australian Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  

The RSPCA is dead set against cane toad golf, but is four-square athwart the idea of freezing or gassing them. They admit the toads are a “menace” that “must be eradicated” but get positively dyspeptic over some methods of eradication versus others.

How, one wonders, do the folks at the RSPCA know that freezing or gassing toads is more friendly than hitting them?

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