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Toad hunt

The week's news at a glance.

Northern Territory, Australia

An Australian member of Parliament upset animal-welfare advocates this week when he called on all citizens to kill as many poisonous cane toads as they could. “Hit them with cricket bats, golf clubs, and the like,” said David Tollner. The cane toad, native to South America, was brought to Australia in the 1930s to eat the beetles that were destroying crops. But because their toxic skin is fatal to Australian predators such as crocodiles and dingoes, the toads have multiplied beyond control. There are now up to 100 million of them swarming across the countryside. Animal-welfare advocates said that rather than bludgeoning the toads, it would be more humane to catch them and put them in the freezer until they die.

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