You can’t guarantee killing a feral cat humanely with a rifle and in any case feral cat shooters such as Jim Stevenson don’t care. He shot at a feral cat four times and hit the cat’s stomach. There is first hand evidence to support this.
Feral cat shooters and hunters consistently tell us that they can kill feral cat humanely with their rifles. They liken it to a form of euthanasia. For example, the Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia state:
“… pointing out that ground shooting, when properly carried out, causes instantaneous death to the targeted species and is one of the most humane methods of reducing feral cats…”
Clearly, this association thinks that shooting feral cats with a rifle is humane when carried out properly. How often is it carried out properly and is it humane?
The first point to make is that even if a person shoots an animal in the head at close range there is no guarantee that it will not cause pain. It depends upon the angle of entry of the bullet, the bullet’s calibre, the speed of the bullet and whether it enters the head from the front or the side and so on and so forth. It just depends and you cannot guarantee that the death of the animal will be painless even at close range whereas when a veterinarian is delivering drugs to euthanise an animal you can guarantee that it will be painless.
Secondly, the ballisticsstudies.com website tells us that 80% of rifles bought for hunting are not capable of even basic accuracy. They say that rifles at a gun store are inaccurate because nobody would sell a good rifle!
I presume, however, that people who buy rifles work on them to ensure that they become accurate. I don’t know but clearly the failure of rifles to be accurate when bought from a gun store is not a good starting point.
A rifle is considered accurate if you can shoot within a one inch cluster at 100 yards using a decent scope. A lot of hunters shoot their target from 300 yards. At this distance it would be impossible to hit a feral cat in the head with consistency. In fact the ballisticstudies.com website says that it is unethical to shoot at game at ranges of 200 yards and beyond if a rifle produces groups of 2 to 3 inches at one hundred yards. By unethical they must mean that the hunter is simply hoping to hit the animal anywhere. I presume feral cats are shot at a closer range but even then accuracy may not be adequate to ensure instant death.
It is unwise to shoot the targeted animal in the head because the head moves around a lot and is a smaller target alhough for small ‘game’ at closer range with small calibre the head may be a target. My research indicates that hunters shoot at a certain area around the shoulder and front of the torso to ensure that they hit a vital organ which should kill the animal quickly. However, death will not be instantaneous and therefore the animal will feel pain. As a result it cannot be called an humane way of killing an animal.
No matter how you research this subject, it is impossible to come to the conclusion that a shooter of feral cats can guarantee that the cat dies instantly without pain. The indications are that most of the time the cat will be shot in the body somewhere and die fairly quickly but not instantaneously and feel a massive amount of pain. Often the cat will be severely injured and die slowly.
Shooters of feral cats like to put this truth out of their minds. Perhaps they don’t even consider it. In fact I’m sure that that is the case but when questioned they will justify their behaviour by saying that it is a humane way of killing feral cats. It is not.