Poll: Pa. voters want to ban pigeon shoots

A new poll shows Pennsylvania voters want to end a controversial practice that some liken to dogfighting. The statewide survey shows strong opposition to live pigeon shoots in the Keystone State.

Opponents of pigeon shoots call the practice cruel and want an end to the gun club contests where live pigeons are launched into the air and shot. Defenders of the shoots say it’s a tradition and they worry that a pigeon shoot ban could lead down a slippery slope that would restrict gun rights.

The new poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research shows 75 percent of Pennsylvania voters favor banning live pigeon shoots. Heidi Prescott, a senior vice president of campaigns at The Humane Society of the United States said the numbers are no surprise. “This poll confirms that Pennsylvania from urban and rural areas don’t support live pigeon shoots and consider them animal cruelty,” she said. One shoot is held in lower Bucks County.

Do you support a bill to prohibit live pigeon shoot contests in Pennsylvania?

STATE  MEN  WOMEN  DEM REP IND
SUPPORT  75% 64%  83%  81%  66%  77%
OPPOSE  16%  23%  11%  13%  21%  12%
UNDECIDED  9%  13%  6%  6%  13%  11%

 Source: Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc., Oct. 24, 2013

Prescott said for more than 25 years the Pennsylvania legislature has considered, but never passed legislation to end the shoots. She said she thinks she knows why, “stiff opposition from extremists who lobby against it and scare the legislators but in reality most hunters find live pigeon shoots appalling and would never participate.” Prescott said to her knowledge, this is the first time a poll like this has been conducted.

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