The secretary of Norway's Socialist Left Party is calling for a twice-yearly national “Slug Hour” during which patriotic Norwegians will slug it out, so to speak, with invasive Spanish Slugs.
The voracious shell-less molluscs have been slowly (of course) moving north, aided by the thriving European trade in vegetables. Spanish Slugs (Arion vulgaris) lay an average of 400 eggs annually and can grow up to 6 inches (15cm) in length.
While Spanish Slugs were first noted in Norway in 1988; warmer winters blamed on global warming have enabled the creatures to get a foothold on the coastline, live longer, and breed more often. The voracious slugs will eat almost anything – including each other – and pose a threat to Norway's farmers, gardeners and nature in general.
It's no surprise, therefore, that voices are being raised against the proliferation of Spanish Slugs... and some variation of Simpsons-esque Whacking Sticks may be next. The latest call to action against the evil-doing slugs comes from Kari Elisabeth Kaski, secretary of Norway's Socialist Left Party.
Kaski draws inspiration from Australia, originators of both the internationally-observed Earth Hour and something called Toad Day Out, where volunteers are encouraged to collect as many invasive Cane Toads as possible.
“We have seen how well it has worked with Earth Hour, where you turn off the lights for one hour,” explained Kaski to a reporter from the VG newspaper. “Norwegians are happy to volunteer, and everyone who knows about Spanish Slugs is saying that we need a coordinated and concerted effort (to destroy them).”
The consequences of inaction in the face of the alien gastropod invasion are grim indeed, as the recent fall in oil prices has already put the squeeze on the Norwegian economy. A biannual crusade against unwelcome foreign slugs comes at just the right time and should it fail, well, there's always the option of building a copper-topped wall... and forcing Spain to pay for it. (via The Local)