Meet Bill Lewis the feral cat terminator (audio)

Peter Goer interviews Bill Lewis for ABC Radio Adelaide. Peter Goer is a gentleman and asks his guest if he shoots feral cats and other pest animals humanely. And Bill said that he does. He said that he shoots with the intention of killing the animals cleanly. Of course he does. He has to say that. But he used the word ‘try’ so he admits that he does not always succeed. This means that on occasions, I hope very rarely, he is shooting semi-domestic cats or even domestic cats inhumanely because the kill is not clean. He can’t tell if a cat is feral or domestic at the distance he shoots them. Anyway not matter how much you hate feral cats there is moral mandate to destroy them humanely. And it ain’t happening all the time with rifles.

Bill Lewis the feral cat terminator
Bill Lewis the feral cat terminator
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

And, in any case, it is impossible to envisage a bullet in the body not causing instant and severe pain albeit for a very short time, even in those ‘clean kills’. The point is that Bill Lewis is causing a lot of pain to a lot of animals over a long period of time. He has been terminating the lives of animals for 15 years.

Peter Goer said you “Kill with compassion if that is possible. He responds: “It is”. And Goer replies: “You try and kill cleanly”. Does that leave you with confidence that they are killed humanely?

The Interview


The Aussie feral terminator does not like shooting cats. But he does it and has been for 15 years. He started by shooting a fox on a friend’s large estate. He was asked to. He said it was the best shot he’s made. That is why he began doing it professionally ever since. He is obviously a good shot.

He has volunteers working for him and he does set high standards. If they don’t put down the animal with the first shot their weapon is evaluated and the volunteer retrained. That’s good but how long does it take for an animal to die when they are stopped with one shot?

One second? Ten seconds? A minute or more? I bet Bill Lewis does not know. It depends where the bullet is obviously. He does not like it but he doesn’t really care does he? He doesn’t care that he and his team are not always killing humanely or compassionately but sometimes cruelly. There are more humane and precise ways to do it. He sees a lot of injured kangaroos; animals shot badly which I presume he dispatches.

So clearly there are many other shooters in the Aussie outback taking careless pot shots at kangaroos and other wildlife. The state Australian governments approve and endorse all this shooting. Millions of animals are shot annually in Australia. It is paradise for sport hunters. Legalised mayhem. The Independent newspaper said that one million kangaroos were shot in 2017. The number has probably risen since then. That is a lot of pain.

And how many feral and non-feral cats are shot annually in Australia? There are no statistics. It will be in the 100s of thousands I suspect. Once again a lot of pain.

There are better ways, such as mass TNR programmes or what about genetic engineering of the cats to make them sterile? These are genuinely humane solutions. They take longer and they are non-violent and therefore unacceptable. Australia is populated with a lot of people who like to shoot animals. It is good news for these men and women. They get to shoot at animals legally. Damn it, they are praised for their work.

They are feral terminators killing pests and sometimes, just sometimes, someone’s pet.

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