Lund, Thomas Bøker4; Mørkbak, Morten Raun3; Lassen, Jesper4; Sandøe, Peter4
1 Section for Consumption, Bioethics and Governance, Department of Food and Resource Economics, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet2 Section for Animal Welfare and Disease Control, Department of Large Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet3 Institut for Virksomhedsledelse og Økonomi4 Section for Consumption, Bioethics and Governance, Department of Food and Resource Economics, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet
a study of the way the public’s assessment of animal research balances costs to animals against human benefits
The conflict between animal costs and human benefits has dominated public as well as academic debates about animal research. However, surveys of public perceptions of animal research rarely focus on this part of attitude formation. This paper traces the prevalence of different attitudes to animal research in the public when people are asked to take benefit and cost considerations into account concurrently. Results from the examination of two representative samples of the Danish public identify three reproducible attitude stances. Approximately 30–35% of people questioned approved of animal research quite strongly, and 15–20% opposed animal research. The remaining 50% were reserved in their views. Further studies will ideally use the measure developed here to make possible relatively fine-grained comparisons and understandings of differences between populations and changes in attitudes over time.
Public Understanding of Science, 2014, Vol 23, Issue 4, p. 428-444