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Festive Slaughter

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From today's LA Times:

Residents of five communities in Queensland took part in the inaugural Toad Day Out event, killing thousands of poisonous cane toads amid a festive mood.

The toads can grow as long as 8 inches. They were imported from South America in 1935 in a failed attempt to control beetles on sugar cane plantations. But the toads couldn?t jump high enough to eat the beetles, which live on top of cane stalks.

The toads bred rapidly, and they now threaten many local species. They spread diseases, such as salmonella, and produce highly toxic venom.

?The children really got into the character of the event,? said Townville City Councilman Vern Veitch.

I guess I have no problem with killing highly toxic, venomous, disease-spreading pests. I'm not sure I like the idea of it being festive, and celebrating that children got in the spirit of the kill. Although, if the critters are that toxic, that venomous, I'm not sure letting masses of frolicking children run amok among them is such a grand idea.

But we do much the same thing, although not with children, I hope. In Texas or Arizona, I forget which, people go out into the desert and wantonly slaughter rattlesnakes, for the fun of it. In Australia, there's at least a reason for this other than sport.

I guess Queensland wasn't where the fires were.


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From today's LA Times: [...]

In Australia, there's at least a reason for this other than sport.

I guess Queensland wasn't where the fires were.


Reason in Australia? Who is spreading that rumour? There is no reason in Australia and certainly not in Queensland which the other Australian states refer to as 'the deep North.'

No fires that I know of in Queensland, they had floods, and that is so typical of them, they go swimming while the rest of us swelter.

(Yes, for those of you uncertain, all of that was sarcasm, Aussie style.) :wink:

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Is that typical of Australia? They have devastaging fires which kill all sorts of innocent animals, but they aren't where they could do some good by killing these ferocious feral toads, saving the children from having to be taught how to make like abattoir employees?


Yes Cole, we have difficulty getting anything right, except getting drunk or exaggerating the truth. :wink:

The Cain Toad area in Queensland is probably around 2000 miles from where the bushfires were in Victoria.

It might help to realise that Australia is comparable in size to mainland USA.

See this link for details

For exact distances look under that sites heading of the Distances Between Cities for their Click Here link.

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It is interesting to note that invasive forces from the Americas were making life difficult for the Aussies even before WWII.

Texans can make belts and boots from their snakeskins. What use have Australians come up with for toad hide?

James Merkin

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Guest Fritz

Good find Cole. For those who wish more information on Toad Out Day, try this.

Brisbane Times

The article points out that the toad were killed humanely (They froze them to death in freezers), and

"The biggest ones will be taken by a local taxidermist and he'll sell them in the local mall," Mr Veitch said.

As for the rattlesnake killing, not only can you make belts and boots out of rattlesnake skins, you can also make rattlesnake cocktails. My honest opinion, rattlesnake cocktails aren't very good. Think of flavorless chicken that is old and very stringy. It takes quite a bit of beer to wash rattlesnake cocktails down.

On the bright side, I don't know how the economy in Australia is doing, but I like the following quote.

Prizes were awarded to children for the heaviest individual toad and heaviest total weight of toads
Think of all the children who profited from the Toad Out Day.
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As for rattlesnake cocktails (there really is such a thing?!), anything that can induce large inputs of beer can't be all bad.


Cole, spoken like a true Aussie. I will alert our immigration people. :wink:

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Guest Fritz

Yes Cole, there really are such things as rattlesnake cocktails. In fact there are several kinds of rattlesnake cocktails, but my acquaintance with them is limited. I was at an outdoor event where they served both fried rattlesnake and rattlesnake cocktails. Didn't get a chance to try the fried rattlesnake because they had insufficient facilities to cook it and I wasn't willing to stand in line that long. (The wait was over three hours while I was there) The rattlesnake cocktail was nothing more than a typical shrimp or crab cocktail (made with a red sauce that is usually catsup and horseradish) that used cooked and shredded rattlesnake instead of shrimp.

There are also alcoholic drink versions and Google will produce 72,000 hits for rattlesnake cocktail recipe, but I haven't tried any of those.

As for fried rattlesnake, several of those who happened to eat it told me that it was similar to fried chicken or frog legs, except not as good as either. I can state that it is a white meat much like chicken breast for color.

Anyhow, pass another Foster's and I'll stick with shrimp or crab cocktails.

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