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Mounting Opposition to Vivisection

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Mounting Opposition to Vivisection

[Ed. Note: Also read Down with animal testing: Study reveals more people oppose the controversial practice.]

From Humane Research Council (HRC)
July 2012

Study from Marymount University, University of Alabama, and Manhattanville College.

Short Description:

This article reviewed current trends in public attitudes toward vivisection. The authors discussed the results of Gallup's "Values and Beliefs" poll between 2001 and 2011 that assessed the moral acceptability of medical animal testing. The authors concluded there is growing opposition to animal testing.


There has long been considerable debate over animal testing. The debate has changed little over time, though attitudes toward the practice are changing. In this paper, authors reviewed the findings of an annual Gallup poll question regarding animals testing for medical purposes between 2001 and 2011.

Overall, in this ten-year period, opposition to animal testing grew by 10%. In 2001 only a third (33%) of respondents opposed the practice, whereas 43% opposed the practice in 2011. Opposition was greater among women than men, with over half of women (52%) but only a third (33%) of men opposing animal research in 2011. Though opposition increased in this period among most demographic groups, the greatest increase occurred among young people, with a 25% increase in opposition from 2001 to 2011, when 59% of teens and 20-somethings opposed the practice. Notably, as level of education increased support for testing also increased.

The authors suggest that the observed overall increase in opposition to animal testing may be due to the efforts of animal advocacy groups, facilitated by the growth of the Internet.

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