Letters to the Editor

Killing iguanas far from humane

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has begun a program of bludgeoning harmless reptiles in Florida.

Sounds dreadful—and it is—but the situation in Florida is more complicated than it appears.

Despite the “humane” label falsely placed on the program, the slaughtering of hundreds of iguanas in the most brutal ways by the University of Florida cannot be condoned by the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida.

As part of a $63,000 research project to devise new and effective ways of pruning back the skyrocketing iguana population in south Florida, wildlife officials in the state have started to smash in the heads of iguanas, saying it’s a quick and “humane” form of euthanasia.

First, iguanas are not overtaking South Florida.

They are still recovering from a severe cold snap that killed most of them about four years ago.

Second, iguanas are vegetarian — meaning, they absolutely do not pose any threat to humans or animals.

Third, they are harmless, except for eating vegetation.

This issue has come up many times in the past and a simple, effective solution has already been established: apply garlic spray or peppermint spray to the affected plants to repel iguanas.

Problem solved.

Bashing animals into concrete or vehicles, shooting them in the head, or any other barbaric means of slaughtering them cannot, in anyone’s estimation, be called humane.

Iguanas, like Muscovy ducks, are never, ever going to be eradicated from South Florida.

Accept that fact.

They’ve been here for hundreds of years and are as native as any other species.

Let’s stop the pretense that this is research, or humane population control.

Florida taxpayers don’t want to spend $63,000 — or any amount — for this torture to continue.

Don Anthony,

communications director,

Animal Rights Foundation of Florida,

Fort Lauderdale