Special Correspondent

‘Frogs are hunted for commercial exploitation’

‘Frogs help check the spread of malaria’

PANAJI: GOACAN, an organisation dealing with civic and consumer issues, has backed the “save frogs” campaign recently launched by the State Forest Department in association with eco-environmental activists ahead of the monsoon.

On Tuesday, on the occasion of “Save the Frogs Day”, consumer forum volunteers under the banner of GOACAN held an awareness action in Margao in south Goa to highlight the need to stop the indiscriminate killing of frogs and to appeal to consumers to stop eating frog meat.

The forum volunteers informed consumers that during the monsoon, which is the mating season for many species of frogs, frogs are hunted for the purpose of commercial sale to restaurants and for consumption domestically.

The consumers were also informed that frogs feed on mosquitoes and other insects which are responsible for the spread of malaria and other vector-borne diseases, and therefore, the frogs have to be protected. Similarly, the increasing incidence of snakes encroaching upon human habitation and settlement areas is also attributed to the dwindling population of frogs in Goa.

The activists released information to the effect that bull frogs are protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 whereby catching, selling, killing frogs or serving and eating frog meat contravene the provision of the Act and attracts punishment of imprisonment for three years and a fine of Rs. 25,000.

Volunteers explained that killing of frogs is also an ecological crime against the food-chain and, therefore, it is important that consumers should become environmentally conscious and say “no” to frog meat.

Roland Martins, convenor of GOACAN, told The Hindu that the forum has decided to encourage consumers to discuss the issue of the dwindling frog population and the spread of malaria in the forthcoming gram sabhas in their villages.

GOACAN will also write to the officials of the Forest Department and the Police Department to intensify vigilance against hunting of frogs.