In the dead of night just before Christmas of 2020, community cats, sometimes referred to as feral cats, living along the Stockton Breakwall in the Port of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, were hunted and shot by a contract killer hired by the Port Authority. The shooting left at least 12 cats dead, maimed, or missing.

This horrific killing was carried out with no warning. In shooting cats, the Port Authority disregarded that residents have utilized their own time and money to spay or neuter (desex), vaccinate, and microchip each of the cats, which is the most effective and humane way to manage cat populations.

Why are they shooting cats in Australia? Because some hold the archaic belief that killing cats and kittens is viable and necessary to reduce community cat populations. However, lethal approaches have proven over decades upon decades to be not only cruel, but ineffective due to a well-documented scientific phenomenon known as the Vacuum Effect.

In our newest video, Alley Cat Allies President and Founder Becky Robinson lays out exactly what happened to these innocent cats, why it is unjustifiable by every measure, and how we’re working to eradicate lethal policies for cats. She is joined by Emma Hurst of Australia’s Animal Justice Party, the cats’ caregivers, the veterinarian who treated cats injured during the shooting.

A warning to sensitive viewers: Some of the details discussed are graphic and disturbing, and the video includes images of cats in recovery from their injuries.

Watch this video on YouTube at

“What the Port of Newcastle has done to these cats cannot be justified. Together we’re going to fight this and we’re going to end this.” Becky Robinson