National Anti-vivisection Society

 

National Antivisection Society

Opposition to medical research on the increase, poll shows

Posted: 18 November 2013

The most recent UK-wide survey, commissioned by the UK government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in 2012, shows that opposition to all forms of animal experimentation is at the highest level since 2005.

The Ipsos-Mori poll ‘Views on the use of animals in scientific research’, which sought the views of over 1,000 people, found that now only 36% accept animal testing for ‘environmentally or animal-harmful chemicals’, a decrease of 8% in two years, while fewer than half (46%) accept animal testing for “chemicals that may harm people”, down 4% in two years. Significantly, 37% are now fully against all animal experiments, an increase of 8% since 2006.

The NAVS campaign to increase openness and transparency concerning animal experiments - which calls for repeal of the “secrecy clause” Section 24 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act - is borne out by the lack of trust that the general public has concerning the use and regulation of animals in experiments. Now, only 43% ‘expect that the rules in Britain on animal experimentation are well enforced’, down 13% since 2010, while almost two-thirds (64%) ‘would not be surprised if experimentation went on behind closed doors’. Similarly, just over a half (53%) agree that “Britain probably has tough rules governing animal experimentation”, a sharp decline of 12% since 2010.

These figures show that the secrecy surrounding animal experiments is of benefit to no one, including animal researchers - as less than half (47%) of those surveyed trust scientists not to cause unnecessary suffering to animals, a 7% drop since 2010. Just 54% “trust the inspectors of animal facilities to bring to light any misconduct that may be occurring at animal research institutes,” a 12% drop in two years, from 66%.

Three-quarters (76%) of the public agree there needs to be more research into alternatives to animal research, such as those funding by the Lord Dowding Fund, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

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