News Source: www.news24.com
Johannesburg – About 2 000 frogs were rescued from a dealer in Vereeniging and released back into the wild on Tuesday, the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) said.
The frogs were found in bucket-like containers at Solly’s Anglers Supplies and were on sale as live fishing bait, the NSPCA said in a statement.
“Pain and suffering is undoubtedly caused when a fishing hook is inserted through parts of their body (and) this constitutes contraventions of the Animals Protection Act No 71 of 1962 and anyone acting in this way could be criminally prosecuted.”
The organisation said there had been instances where frogs were forced into bottles and sold as live bait along the side of roads near fishing areas.
It said frogs were very sensitive to handling due to their more delicate skin than many vertebrates.
The NSPCA said when these creatures were put in bottles they did not have access to oxygen. This made it difficult for them to breathe and as a result they slowly suffocated.
“We urge the public not to support this cruel practice and rather use alternative non-live baits,” the organisation said.
Constable Tebogo Lephoto said no criminal case was opened against the shop owners, but the NSPCA was responsible for taking action against them.
He said police were only called in to assist the NSPCA after the shop owners, who allegedly did not have permits for the frog business, refused them entry into their premises.
An order had to be granted to force the owners to let the officials in.