The poll, commissioned by charities, comes ahead of the start of the grouse shooting season in Scotland
Most people in the UK think the shooting of birds for ‘sport’ should be banned.
YouGov polling shows that shows that nearly seven out of ten people (69%) want it made illegal.
The poll, commissioned by the League Against Cruel Sports and Animal Aid, comes ahead of the start of the grouse shooting season in Scotland – the so-called ‘glorious’ 12th of August.
It also coincides with the decision by the Welsh Government to end the licensing of pheasant shooting on public land in the country.
Game bird shooting involves the mass production of more than 35 million pheasants and partridges each year.
Those who survive until shooting season are released on shooting estates to be shot by paying customers.
Despite claims that the birds are then eaten, huge numbers of dead birds are dumped or incinerated as there is very little demand for their meat.
As previously revealed by TFN, the carcases are sometimes distributed to the poor – despite concerns that they contain dangerously high levels of lead as a result of being shot.
Chris Luffingham, director of Campaigns at the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “The shooting industry tries to paint game bird shooting as some kind of traditional, idyllic activity which puts food on the table. That image has been blown out of the sky because people clearly don’t believe it any more.
“These birds are bred to be killed. Many die of disease or on the roads before they even get to the shooting grounds.
“If any get a bullet to the head they are the lucky ones because with amateurs taking pot shots at them many are going to be wounded and die in agony. Then some might be eaten but many will be dumped or burned – the end to a life of suffering fashioned by an uncaring industry.”
The poll showed that 80% oppose the use of cages to breed birds which are subsequently shot, a practice which is routine in pheasant and partridge shooting.
Once respondents had read about cage rearing, they were asked again if they thought shooting birds for sport should be illegal – and 73% said yes.
Isobel Hutchinson, director of Animal Aid, added: “This poll proves that the vast majority of the public abhor the cruelty inflicted on birds by the shooting industry.
“We are also heartened that 80% oppose the cages used to incarcerate the breeding birds whose offspring will become feathered targets for shooters. Our undercover work has repeatedly revealed the suffering of those breeding birds, languishing in their thousands in horrific conditions.
“The frustration they experience at their captivity leads them to attack one another and repeatedly fly into the cage roof in a futile attempt to escape.
“It is time for politicians to take notice of public opinion and as a first, vital step, ban the cruel cages.”