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New Poll Reveals Iowa Voters Overwhelmingly Oppose Dove Hunting

The Humane Society of the United States

A statewide survey conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. has revealed that Iowa voters oppose the hunting of mourning doves by a two-to-one margin. The poll comes on the heels of a bill (S.F. 25) introduced by Sen. Dick Dearden, D-Des Moines, which would authorize the hunting of mourning doves for the first time in Iowa since 1918.

Statewide, 53 percent of voters oppose dove hunting, while only 27 percent support it. A majority of voters in every demographic group and party affiliation — men, women, Democrats, Republicans and Independents — oppose dove hunting.

Additionally, if the Iowa legislature were to pass a dove hunting bill, a majority of voters say that Gov. Chet Culver should veto the legislation. And voters say they are almost twice as likely to punish a lawmaker at the polls if he or she votes to legalize dove hunting, as they are to support such a candidate.

"This survey confirms what we've long known: Iowa citizens can't stomach the idea of shooting mourning doves," said Carol Griglione, The HSUS' Iowa state director. "Doves aren't overpopulated, don't cause nuisance problems, aren't a viable food source and would be shot simply for target practice. It's this legislation, not the doves, that should be shot down."

The survey of 625 Iowa voters was conducted statewide from Feb. 19 through Feb. 21, 2009. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percent. The questions and results are below.

QUESTION: The hunting of mourning doves in Iowa has been outlawed since 1918. The Iowa legislature is considering a bill to allow the hunting of doves. Do you support or oppose allowing the hunting of mourning doves in Iowa?

                         STATE    MEN    WOMEN   DEMS   REPS   INDS

SUPPORT         27%      37%       17%        19%    38%      25%

OPPOSE            53%      42%       64%        62%    41%      55%

UNDECIDED     20%      21%      19%        19%    21%      20%

QUESTION: If the legislature passed a bill allowing the hunting of mourning doves, would you support or oppose Governor Culver vetoing the measure?

                         STATE   MEN   WOMEN   DEMS   REPS   INDS

SUPPORT          50%    39%     61%        61%    38%      48%

OPPOSE            30%    37%       23%        20%    40%      33%

UNDECIDED     20%    24%      16%       19%      22%     19%

QUESTION: Everything else being equal, would you be more likely or less likely to vote for a state legislator who voted to legalize dove hunting in the state of Iowa?

                            STATE   MEN   WOMEN   DEMS   REPS   INDS

MORE LIKELY     19%     26%      12%        9%       29%      20%

LESS LIKELY      35%     25%      45%        48%      22%     33%

NO EFFECT/DK   46%     49%      43%       43%      49%     47%


The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.