Knowledge of the animal welfare act and animal welfare regulations influences attitudes toward animal research
Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science Jaalas 54(1): 70-75
ISSN/ISBN: 2769-6677 PMID: 25651094 Accession: 058189598
Recent public-opinion polls indicate that Americans have shown a decline in support for animal experimentation, and several reports suggest a relationship between people's knowledge of animal welfare regulations and their attitudes toward animal research. Therefore, this study was designed to assess respondent's knowledge of several provisions in the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and Animal Welfare Regulations (AWR), and determine whether exposure to elements of this legislation would influence an individual's attitudes toward the use of animals in research. A survey was used to assess knowledge of animal research regulations and attitudes toward animal research from a sample of individuals recruited through Amazon's Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing marketplace. Results from study 1 confirmed the hypothesis that respondents had little knowledge of various federal regulations that govern animal research activities. Data from study 2 revealed that exposure to elements of the AWA and AWR influenced participants' attitudes toward the use of animals in research. These results suggest that providing information to the general public about the AWA and AWR that protect laboratory animals from abuse and neglect may help alleviate concerns about using animals in research settings.