A new poll shows that public opinion about animal testing has shifted dramatically over the past ten years -- now, 54 percent of people under the age of 30 are against the practice, a 23 percent rise since 2001. The UK's Daily Mirror reports the research, which was presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago.
Researchers analysed survey data from 2001 to 2013 in which around 1,000 US adults a year were asked if they found animal testing morally acceptable or wrong. The results showed that last year, 41% of those questioned thought medical experiments on animals were morally wrong - 12% more than in 2001. Women tended to be more unhappy about animal experiments, with a majority - 52% - last year saying it was morally wrong. The number of women opposed to animal testing had risen 16% since 2001. Just under a third of men and a third of all adults aged 30 and over were opposed to medical animal testing in 2013.
The study's author and a director at PETA, Justin Goodman, said that the poll reflects a change in attitude across every gender, age group and political affiliation. "[This is] because people have more exposure than ever to information about the cruelty that animals endure in laboratories, how animal testing rarely helps humans, and the superior alternatives available," he said.