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Let the people speak

Let the people speak
Let the people speak

Make no mistake, the debate over animal experimentation has become deadly serious. In Britain, we've seen bombings, hunger strikes and death threats. The scientists involved, labelled "torturers", live in fear of becoming the next target. Peaceful campaigners for animal rights find themselves branded as "terrorist sympathisers". Yet amidst the violence and rhetoric, one thing is missing: no one really knows what the public think because they haven't been asked where they would draw the line on animal research. Until now, that is. To let the people's voice be heard, New Scientist commissioned Market & Opinion Research International (MORI) to ask a representative sample of British adults whether they supported or opposed each of a series of hypothetical experiments. The results provide the most complete picture so far of the public's views on animal research-from die-hard activists who even oppose experiments that don't harm animals to the 1 in 20 people prepared to let monkeys die to test cosmetics. Yet despite these divergent opinions, our poll reveals that most people seem to carefully weigh the pros and cons of each experiment before deciding whether or not to give their support. Researchers, antivivisectionists and regulators alike will find some grains of comfort and some disturbing messages in our poll. We hope the results will provide a new starting point for a rational debate on the future of animal experimentation in Britain and elsewhere.

0262-4079
26-31
Aldhous, Peter
5ea16515-c0f0-49d3-bda6-e170a54e4e55
Coghlan, Andy
70031f6b-5ab7-41ab-ba86-fb024c830186
Copley, Jon
5f30e2a6-76c1-4150-9a42-dcfb8f5788ef
Aldhous, Peter
5ea16515-c0f0-49d3-bda6-e170a54e4e55
Coghlan, Andy
70031f6b-5ab7-41ab-ba86-fb024c830186
Copley, Jon
5f30e2a6-76c1-4150-9a42-dcfb8f5788ef

Aldhous, Peter, Coghlan, Andy and Copley, Jon (1999) Let the people speak. New Scientist, 162 (2187), 26-31.

Record type: Article

Abstract

Make no mistake, the debate over animal experimentation has become deadly serious. In Britain, we've seen bombings, hunger strikes and death threats. The scientists involved, labelled "torturers", live in fear of becoming the next target. Peaceful campaigners for animal rights find themselves branded as "terrorist sympathisers". Yet amidst the violence and rhetoric, one thing is missing: no one really knows what the public think because they haven't been asked where they would draw the line on animal research. Until now, that is. To let the people's voice be heard, New Scientist commissioned Market & Opinion Research International (MORI) to ask a representative sample of British adults whether they supported or opposed each of a series of hypothetical experiments. The results provide the most complete picture so far of the public's views on animal research-from die-hard activists who even oppose experiments that don't harm animals to the 1 in 20 people prepared to let monkeys die to test cosmetics. Yet despite these divergent opinions, our poll reveals that most people seem to carefully weigh the pros and cons of each experiment before deciding whether or not to give their support. Researchers, antivivisectionists and regulators alike will find some grains of comfort and some disturbing messages in our poll. We hope the results will provide a new starting point for a rational debate on the future of animal experimentation in Britain and elsewhere.

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Published date: 1 December 1999

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 445450
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/445450
ISSN: 0262-4079
PURE UUID: d27aa58e-2a48-4d34-bfea-4a5d7eb8ded5
ORCID for Jon Copley: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3333-4325

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Date deposited: 09 Dec 2020 17:31
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 16:44

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Contributors

Author: Peter Aldhous
Author: Andy Coghlan
Author: Jon Copley ORCID iD

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