Posted by Dr Katy Taylor on 23rd July 2015
Poll reveals Americans concerned about animal experiments
A third of US survey respondents agree animals deserve the exact same rights as people to be free from harm and exploitation
A recent opinion poll in the USA1 has found that 67% of respondents said they are “concerned” about the use of animals in experiments, with 33% saying that they are “very” concerned.
A third of the survey respondents also said that they believed animals “deserve the exact same rights as people to be free from harm and exploitation”. This figure has increased by 7% since 2008 to 32%, which suggests that the US public are becoming more concerned about the treatment of animals. Women were more likely to share this view (42%) than men (22%).
American consulting company Gallup conducted a series of telephone interviews with 1,024 adults from across all 50 states. They asked them a range of questions about their level of concern for animals in a number of scenarios such as zoos, circuses, for the production of food as well as in research. Overall concern for animals used in experiments was similar to concern for animals used in circuses (69%) and sports (68%) but was higher than overall concern for animals in zoos (57%) or food production (54%). Interestingly, more respondents expressed that they were ‘very concerned’ about animals used in research than in all other scenarios.
The Gallup Values and Beliefs poll is an annual survey that has tracked Americans' views on the moral acceptability of 12 issues since 2001. According to this year’s survey, support for animal testing has now declined by 9% since 2001.
Another US poll carried out earlier in the year by the Pew Research Center2 also found that a large proportion of people are concerned about animal research. Half (50%) of all American adults surveyed said that they were against animal experiments, with women more likely to oppose it (62%) than men (30%).
- In U.S., more say animals should have same rights as people. (2015). Gallup, May 18: http://www.gallup.com/poll/183275/say-animals-rights-people.aspx
- Chapter 3: Attitudes and beliefs on science and technology topics. (2015). Pew Research Center, January 29: http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/29/chapter-3-attitudes-and-beliefs-on-science-and-technology-topics/