Poll: Fewer Americans Support Medical Testing on Animals

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Each year, we at NAVS eagerly await the release of the annual Gallup Poll on Values and Beliefs, because it has helped us track how Americans feel about medical testing on animals over the past two decades. The 2021 poll results have just been released, and they give us reasons to feel optimistic, if still cautious. 

First things first: How do Americans feel about this topic? According to the most recent survey results, 52% of Americans view medical testing on animals as “morally acceptable.” 

While this number may seem high, it is actually down dramatically from 2001 (the first year the question was included in the Gallup poll), when 65% of respondents held that belief. And, importantly, this number represents a slight decrease in support for animal testing since last year, when 56% of Americans found medical testing on animals to be morally acceptable. 

Accordingly, the percentage of individuals who view medical testing on animals as “morally wrong” increased, from 26% in 2001 to 44% in 2021. Last year, 39% of Americans held this view. Encouragingly, the percentage of individuals who feel that animal testing is morally wrong is back at its all-time high of 44%, a value seen in 2017 and again in 2019.

This is not only great news for animals, but validation that our efforts to replace cruel, costly and flawed animal experiments with humane, innovative methods of research are working. 

Although we are encouraged by this shift in public perception on animal-related issues, we cannot become complacent. Yes, public opinion is once again shifting slightly in favor of the animals, but we can see that over the long term, progress appears to be slowing down, and even leveling out a bit.

Ironically, one reason for this slowdown could be the extraordinary progress we in the animal protection community have made in calling out the cruelty and inefficacy of animal experiments. We’re doing a great job in making our case—and the “other side” can see that. So, they’re responding—fighting back and pushing back harder than ever, supported by a multi-billion-dollar animal research industry that has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. As we achieve victories for animals, we must also ensure that we do not ease up on our efforts.

Although the animals used in medical research do not have a voice, we—and YOU—do! Please visit the NAVS Advocacy Center, where you can continue to be the voice for the voiceless and ensure that we continue the momentum to end animal experimentation. 

Source: Gallup Polls