Over the years I have heard many stories of people picking up the old golf club, heading down to the back of their dam or a local park, and having some fun (with a stubbie in hand) hitting the good ole Cane Toad (Bufo marinus).For some reason, unknown to me, some people get a thrill out of this.How fun is it, then, for the Cane Toad on the receiving end?
Considering that Cane Toads (like all frogs – yes – a Cane Toad is a type of frog – as are all toads) have a backbone (they are vertebrates) they can therefore feel pain. Numerous times I have seen people go to hit a Cane Toad on the head, miss it, and hit part of the body that doesn’t result in instant death, more than likely causing the toad a degree of pain. Lets put it into perspective – how would you like to have your arm or leg broken by a big metal bar? I can imagine most of you would have said “No thank you. I’ll just have a cup of tea”.
The most effective way of killing a toad – that will cause the least amount of pain – is a plastic bag in the freezer (I have heard news of another method that is even more humane but the this alludes my mind at present).
This principle of killing cane toads humanely should be implemented for all introduced vertebrate species. After all, it is not their fault that they have been ‘introduced’ to a foreign land – It is only our own. We do not have the right to inflict unjustified pain onto a defenceless creature – regardless of how much ‘fun’ we think it is.