A government funded research study conducted by Ipsos MORI has found that public opposition to animal testing is growing, while faith in scientists and regulations that govern animal testing is falling.
According to the study, more than one in three people, 37 percent, now object to the practice. The number of people who oppose animal testing has been increasing since the last study conducted in 2006, which found that 29 percent of people were objectors.
The Guardian reports that:
Objectors either do not support the use of animals in experimentation because of concern for animal welfare (32%) or believe the government should ban experiments on animals for any form of research (21%), or both. They are more heavily female (41%) than male (33%) and more likely to be those aged 15 to 24 (55%) and also those in the lowest socio-economic class ranked as DE (51% compared to 23% of ABs).
That hardening of attitudes is part of what Ipsos MORI called a “significant” shift away from people endorsing the need for use of animals in such projects. While 85% of the 1,026 Britons aged 15 and older questioned “conditionally” support the practice, that is down from the 90% found in 2010, according to the poll, which the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills paid for.
In response, 41 organizations have signed a declaration on openness in animal research in an effort to create more transparency.
In response, 41 organizations have signed a “declaration on openness in animal research” in an effort to create more transparency.
“If those who do research using animals are now serious about favouring greater openness, then it is time they back up their claim by disclosing exactly what they are doing to animals and why,” said Michelle Thew, chief executive of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV). “The public need full disclosure, not a sanitised account, of the suffering, pain and distress that are routinely inflicted upon millions of animals every year.”
The BUAV has been calling for greater transparency in research for years, while the industry has fought to keep their practices and secrets safe behind closed doors. The BUAV is also campaigning to end Section 24, which allows researchers to ban publication of details, and to support EDM 405, which asks the government to form a clear strategy to reduce the number of animal experiments.
Officials continue to claim that they’re promoting the 3R’s (reduction, refinement and replacement), but the number of animals used in experiments was found to be at a 25 year high this summer, with 68,100 procedures in the last year alone.
Meanwhile, Dave Willetts, the science minister, told the Guardian that they’re currently trying to get airlines and ferry companies who have stopped transporting animals intended for research to resume again.
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