Wednesday 24 December 2008

Ground Shooting of Feral Cats

"Ground Shooting of Feral Cats" is recommended in New South Wales, Australia. I was told by the "experts" that this sort of thing did not happen in Australia. Well it does.

There is a "How To" set of rules on making the process as efficient as possible. The rules have been prepared by Trudy Sharp & Glen Saunders, NSW Department of Primary Industries. The PDF file containing this information has been deleted or removed from the Internet (it seems) but the html version is still in cache.

It makes for brutal reading. Australians really do have a problem with their feral cats because they see no way of dealing with them other than outright killing any way possible. The thing is this: killing feral cats leaves a vacuum. This vacuum is filled by more feral cats. You guys have created a problem, now you're going to have to put some resources towards solving it and in a humane way, not the brutal and ultimately ineffective (and certainly financially ineffecient) slaying of innocent creatures. You Aussies can be brutal and uncivilized sometimes.

They say "shooting is one of the main methods of control currently used". It is done at night from a vehicle with a search light. They say it can be humane provided the person doing the shooting is skilled. Of course no one has a clue if these people are skilled. So, it's a fair bet that they aren't.

Frankly the ground shooting of feral cats in Australia it is not much better than the Chinese eating cat meat. The person shooting has to establish the cat is not someones domestic cat before blasting it. How the hell can you do that from a vehicle at night and from a distance? Come on Aussies. The rules also state that the shooters should not kill lactating females as the kittens will starve to death. How the hell are you blood thirsty guys with rifles going to find that out? Are you going to go up to the cat and inspect her first?

For effective ground shooting of feral cats in Australia, the preferred shots are the head shot and chest shot and instructions are given in some detail as to do this effectively. Even the type of gun is recommended, namely
"small bore, high velocity, centre fire rifles fitted with a telescopic sight are preferred eg. .22-250, .22 Hornet, .222 Remington, .223 or .243 Winchester. Hollow-point or soft-nosed ammunition should always be used".
I could go on. Is Australia the only country that officially endorses killing of what was once a domestic cat with a firearm. It happens in places like Croatia and Romania. So, this seems to put the Australians on a similar footing to those countries.

I presume by the way that the alternative to ground shooting of feral cats is shooting from the air. That will, no doubt be next, with a machine gun, I expect.

It isn't just about feral cats. Feral pigs, wild dogs, rabbits and foxes etc. are shot, poisoned, trapped and gassed in the most cruel and inhumane way in Australia.


  1. Contrary to your claim the article in question is still available on the internet. While I was unfamiliar with it I was able to find it within a five minute search. You can find it, along with other documents pertaining to management of feral animals in Australia at the following website:

    You may also find the code of pratice to be of interest and it can be found at:

    Your article appears to be assuming that there is a policy that anyone can go and shoot cats willy-nilly, encouraged by the government. As previously stated in comments to related articles Australia has tight gun laws and the majority of the population do not have access to a firearm. I find it telling that the guide to ground shooting of feral cats follows the code of practice regarding feral cats which specifies that "the aim of this code of practice is to provide information and recommendations to
    vertebrate pest managers responsible for the control of feral cats." Larger culls are undertaken under strict guidelines and are undertaken by individuals selected specifically for the task for their "no one has a clue if these people are skilled". I do not deny that there are individuals who shoot animals unrelated to culls but Australia does not have a history of 'sport' hunting, unlike many other nations in the world.

    You allege that "The rules also state that the shooters should not kill lactating females as the kittens will starve to death." This is directly in contrast with the code of practice (though I suspect you won't find this a more palatable alternative) which states that "if lactating females are shot, efforts should be made to find dependent kittens and kill them quickly and humanely."

    Perhaps you have come across the code of practice, given your misquote, and you may find the first paragraph of "Feral Cat Facts" of interest, particularly the defined differences between feral, stray and domestic cats. Additionally, as alluded to in the first sentence of this paragraph, there is some evidence that there were cats in Australia prior to British arrival. In addition to the theory that Dutch merchants who passed the country in this period there has been genetic testing of Australian feral cats which has shown that a portion of the population is most likely (as no scientific test can ever claim certainty, only at least 95% There was a history of Indonesians trading with the Aboriginal population prior to British arrival.

    Lastly as an Australian I do take offence to the anti-Australian tone of your article ("You Aussies can be brutal and uncivilized sometimes") and suggest you consider that you are branding an entire, though populously small, country as barbarians. I wonder how many Australians you have taken the time to get to know and venture that this attitude is no better than the negative attitudes held in varying degrees in many countries of the world, and including Australia, about Americans.

    I hope that my comments have been of interest and seek merely to add information which pertains to some views which I believe to be biased and, in some cases, incorrect.

    Best regards,


    1. Seems you Aussies have another rat problem today. HaaHaa keep killing the feral cats who's diet consists of 80% rats and mice. How many other species will you people kill with the use of bromelains? Thousands of birds and carnivores will die eating the dead rats. Ship of fools! The cats are having the last laugh! :-)

  2. Apologies firstly for the length of my reply, it's very difficult to keep track in this small box!

    Also I appear to have lost part of my text in paragraph 2, line 6. What I wrote should read: selected specifically for the task for their shooting accuracy and skill, contrary to the statement that "no one has a clue if these people are skilled".

    Regards again,


  3. Hi, thanks for the comments. Comments are always very much appreciated. The bottom line is that some people in Australia are allowed to shoot feral cats. That is my view is wrong particularly as the cats should be or were domestic cats and their feral state is due to human behavior. One can try and justify it but bottom line we know it is wrong and if we don't know it is wrong, we have lost the plot.

  4. Yes, my post is biased. It is intended to be biased as it is in defense of and in favor of the feral cat, an animal without a voice, who didn't ask to in the position they are in. We arranged that.

  5. The fact that this article is incredibly biased makes it less effective. You simply CANNOT put in blanket statements such as "You Aussies can be brutal sometimes" and still expect people to take this article seriously. Also, there are a lot of things that you are not taking into account. Australia is a very large and underpopulated country with wide areas of bushland that contains very fragile native ecosystems. Cats DO NOT belong there. Trapping is not a very effective method because a) the area that feral cats are located in is massive and therefore it would be monumentally expensive to distribute and check traps, and b) you're just as likely to trap native animals that are endangered (due mostly to cat predation and competition with feral rabbits for food). These native animals become extremely stressed in traps, and often die as a result. Therefore, trapping does just as much harm as good. Also, gun control in Australia is extremely tight, so this isn't just random untrained people wandering around with firearms. Check your facts, and write an article that is NOT blatantly biased and you are more likely to have a positive result.


  6. To the last comment. I am entitled to say what I like on my site! And if it is biased towards the cat so much the better because arrogant human thinks he can do what he likes. That is why we are in a mess. In any case it is far from being the kind of post you make it out to be.

    In the UK it would be shocking if people were driving around in Toyota Land Cruisers shooting at feral cats.

    It just smacks of a lack of civilisation. It is crude and base. Why don't you do the right think and solve the problem humanely and properly and stop defending the indefensible?

  7. Thanks for the good laugh!

  8. I found over the years that many people are narrow minded and choose to stay in the same frame of mind rather than do studies on all animals,how can any one acknowledge some thing they do not know?or even from a distance? or most commonly what they fear?.most humans minds work over time,they see this wee tiny animal out in the wild cold & hungry world but the humans mind works over time & all they see is this huge monster lurking down upon them with long fangs ready to pounce on them for a free meal.
    Another thing I have been hearing so much about is that skunks are nasty/dirty,they were seen eating out of peoples trash barrels;but if any one really cared to observe a skunk up close;you will see that they(skunks)will find possible objects namely food products they only check out food that has been tightly wrapped,or they smell opened food to see what it is & if its spoiled,no matter how hungry they are they will not eat bad food.I'm quite sure that cats are pretty much the same,I have also seen cats & skunks bed down together in cold winter months to keep each other warm.A bible quote is:The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb;And the leopard shall lie down with the goat.Thats saying a lot where as the people of all nations do the opposite.whether it be a sick dying animal or human; its kicked aside,so the human can move onward.
    Where has all this compassion gone?
    What are our reasons for distancing our selves from life & reality? What if any thing does it mean to all of us;United We Stand Divided We Fall? I am thankful for every day I breath and if its the very last breath between me & death I will share it with an animal in order that he/she may live;in momory of all my beloved animals that fought like hell to survive,it was these human animals that showed me the way.That taught me fear was not to be feared but in fact a challenge.God bless

  9. Euh...I think that last post was slightly redundant?

  10. I found this Arthur incredibly biased and narrow-minded. Plus, he's also a racist some sort.

    Why dissing Croatia? In my country( Croatia), there's no way to control animals and don't make laugh, we've got no vet to neuter our cats. Feral cats were simply way out of control sometimes and a big nuisance to our lives! They fought our house cats ALL the time these nasty little critters! We didn't even have guns and trap+drowning seems to be very efficient at controlling them.

    I am not sure about Australia, but if they've got a huge feral cats problem, shooting seems to be very reasonable.

    Also, your argument about feral cats were simply the offspring of domestic cats of which they deserve the same loves as domestic cats is simply lame!!! becoz it's father and its grandpa was a docile curdling domesticated house cat doesn't mean the feral one is! period! Think about Hitler, simply becoz Hitler's grandpa was a charming people (which he was), doesn't give any charming status to Hitler himself or any Nazi leaders, most Nazi leaders were sentenced to death and I bet their grandma must be really nice women, does that exempt them from being BAD? nope, the same goes for feral cats... They simply turned wild and bad and I don't care if their mothers are domesticated or not, killing is the only way, end of story.

    1. Picku Mater wtf are you talking about - it is not true there are no veterinarije v Hrvatske and in areas where there aren't there SHOULD be. It is entirely 100% a human problem. Nobody is dissing Hrvatske you are just taking it that way however maybe people should diss a country that can't even manage animal welfare. Look at your neighbours v Slovenija - they are very capable of treating animals kindly and with respect. Your bloody agricultural minister tortures horses FFS. Yes Hrvastke does rock but certainly not for any of these reasons. The reason why perhaps it takes you so long to join Europe could well be also because of your animal welfare problems.

      Maybe you guys could learn a lesson or two in Ljubljana about how to manage you animals and your ATITTUDES towards animals.

      NO animals are bad. No animals deserves to die simply for existing and especially an animal who was put there by HUMAN arrogance and lack of care. If you kmecki want to keep shooting cats simply because you don't like them then maybe you shouldn't join Europe. Sadly I think those Eurocrats don't seem to care because they accepted Romanija (a true hell for any animal)- next it will be Madzarska, Hrvatske - it's a disaster and your comments make that clear. Yes Croatia is made of rocks. Adijo.

  11. I was quite shocked to read this blog. I am Australian, and I live in Australia. In Australia gun laws are extremely strict, and I do not know anyone who would ever harm a cat, let alone shoot one!

    Yes, people do shoot cats in Australia, but very few people. Those who do shoot cats are the same people who go duck shooting, they're heartless rednecks. Nobody likes them. They gain extreme pleasure from shooting animals. They are sick cruel idiots. I've never seen anyone shoot a cat, it is extremely uncommon, please don't make Australians look like blood thirsty neanderthals. We're not, almost all Australians are animals lovers and would not EVER shoot a cat!


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