Page last updated at 11:55 GMT, Sunday, 29 March 2009 12:55 UK

'War' on poisonous Australia toad

'They are vermin'

People in the Australian state of Queensland have taken part in a mass capture of poisonous cane toads as part of a collective effort at pest control.

The celebratory cull is known as Toad Day Out and was advocated by a Queensland politician, Shane Knuth.

The toads have to be captured alive and unharmed, examined by experts, and then killed humanely under the event rules.

Cane toads were introduced to Australia from South America in 1935 to eat beetles, but became a pest themselves.

"This is an example of how the war against cane toads can be won," said Mr Knuth, who hopes to take Toad Day Out nationwide.

Critics of the toads blame them for the deaths of crocodiles that may have feasted on them, inadvertently poisoning themselves.

Children also took part in collecting the creatures. "I've got no clue how many we've got but they're all fat!" said one boy involved in the hunt for the toads.

The majority of toads will be turned into fertiliser or donated to the science department of James Cook University.

But a few of the largest ones will be stuffed by a local Queensland taxidermist.

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