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Watching brief

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Eurobarometer survey shows public concern on animal testing

In June 2010, a Eurobarometer survey on science and technology found marked divisions in public opinion on whether animal experiments should be allowed - even if the research can claim to lead to benefits for human health.

The divisions in opinion are particularly marked in terms of species of animals used in experiments. When asked whether scientists should be allowed to experiment on larger animals like dogs and monkeys for the improvement of human health and wellbeing, only 44% of respondents agree, and 37% disagree.

In the UK the figures are even closer - 44% agree, and 42% disagree when it comes to testing on dogs and primates. While in Finland, Slovenia, Luxembourg and France, more than 50% of respondents say they disagree with such experiments.These results an  opinion poll carried out in 2009 by leading polling company YouGov in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the Czech Republic found much stronger public support (79%) against animal research not relating to serious or life-threatening human conditions.

The citizens surveyed by YouGov also strongly rejected the possibility that the new EU animal experiments law could allow suffering and pain on cats and dogs, while 81% agreed the new legislation should prohibit all experiments causing pain or suffering to primates. 84% agreed or strongly agreed the new law should prohibit all experiments causing severe pain or suffering to any animal.

The outcomes of the Eurobarometer survey prove once again that there is an obvious gap between the claims of the scientific community about animal use and public opinion about the issue.

Link to the survey

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