We can dispense with the common 'justifications' for many such acts quite easily as being specious and superficial to our inquiry: The economic justification 'it provides jobs' (there are innumerable employment paths open to anyone without injuring or killing wildlife, wherever they live); the ecological justification 'it helps the natural balance' (in the rare case of ecological imbalance, an organised cull by trained marksmen doesn't involve 'pleasure'); the argument of tradition (traditions are hardly compulsory); and the provision of food (we are liberally endowed with supermarkets).
Ultimately, anyone who injures or kills a wild creature beyond the boundaries of self-defence or an ecological cull is doing it purely for the pleasure of it. I would classify the following as relevant here: hunting, shooting, and fishing, as well as kids shooting animals with BB guns and air rifles, badger baiting, setting snares, stealing birds eggs, trapping or killing wild birds, and the one-off horrors that make the news.
We need to understand the psychology of taking pleasure from such an act. There is obviously an element of selfishness-personal pleasure taking precedence over the suffering and life of the wild creature, but there must be something much deeper at work, and if it is a mix of nature and nurture, we should attempt to unravel it, that we may treat it. If you used to take pleasure in the injuring or killing of wildlife, and have reformed, tell us why. It may help others stop.
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