Public attitude to testing on animals has shifted

Public attitudes to animal 
experiments have shown a 
“significant” shift away from 
acceptance that they might sometimes be necessary, according to new survey results.

Public attitudes to animal 
experiments have shown a 
“significant” shift away from 
acceptance that they might sometimes be necessary, according to new survey results.

Public attitudes to animal experiments have shown a “significant” shift away from acceptance that they might sometimes be necessary, according to new survey results.

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A UK government-commissioned Ipsos Mori poll found that 85 per cent of people questioned were “conditionally” in favour of animal testing compared with 90 per cent two years ago.

The percentage of “objectors” who rejected animal research on welfare grounds or thought it should be banned had increased from 35 per cent to 37 per cent.

Previous surveys reveal a slow increase in the proportion of objectors since 2006, when their numbers amounted to 29 per cent. Because of the way the survey was conducted, there was some overlap between the different groups.

Trust in scientists and regulators has also declined since the last animal research survey was conducted in 2010.

A high proportion (40 per cent) of participants said they wanted to know more about animal experimentation before arriving at a firm opinion.

The findings prompted an immediate response from the scientific community, which pledged to be more open about what goes on in laboratories, and why.

A wide range of scientific organisations signed a “Declaration of Openness”.