New polling shows huge public opposition to animal experiments

Posted on the 27th February 2024

The latest figures from a survey conducted by OnePoll for Animal Aid has revealed that the vast majority of people want to see a ban on animal experiments, and funding diverted towards more reliable and humane science.

The poll of 2,000 adults in the UK showed:

  • 72% of people thought it important (very or fairly) to have a binding and timetabled plan developed to phase out the use of all animals in experiments. This is something we are asking all political parties to support.
  • 77% agree (strongly or somewhat) that ‘There should be a ban on all research involving animals which is not legally required’. Only 6% disagree (strongly or somewhat). Again, this is something we have called for.

Our most recent campaign to ban lethal dose animal tests has been very popular with supporters and the general public. At the centre of the campaign is the LD50, (lethal dose 50%) which involves animals being force-fed increasing doses of a substance until half of them are dead. There is now a non-animal method to replace this test called AcutoX, which was developed with financial support from Animal Aid, by the XCellR8 laboratory. When the LD50 and AcutoX were described to those being polled, 77% agreed (strongly or somewhat) that the non-animal method should be used in place of animals. Only 3% disagree (strongly or somewhat)

Our campaign to ban lethal dose animal tests has not only gained the support of those signing our petition, but also wider afield. You can find out more about it here.

The polling figures come a week after the Westminster Hall debate of two petitions on animal experiments, which had, between them, more than 140,000 signatures. Both petitions called for a move away from animal experiments and an increase in the use of non-animal methods. Animal Aid attended the debate and were buoyed by the unanimous support from MPs for more progressive science and a move away from using animals in cruel and unreliable experiments. You can read the debate transcript here.

At the end of the debate, Minister Andrew Griffith announced a doubling of current funding for the ‘3Rs’ – the reduction, refinement and replacement of animals in experiments – from £10million to £20 million. Animal Aid believes that, unless this money is ring-fenced solely to replace the use of animals, this will be a wasted opportunity and will fly in the face of public-opinion.

Our polling revealed that

  • more than three-quarters of people (76%) agree (strongly or somewhat) with the statement that ‘Existing funding, resources and expertise should be diverted away from animal experiments to improve the development and promotion of non-animal methods’. Only 4% disagreed (strongly or somewhat)

We completely agree about the importance of funding non-animal methods and recently announced more funding to the XCellR8 laboratory, which you can read about here.

Our polling figures demonstrate the public’s strong desire to see an end to the harming and killing of animals in experiments. The cruelty and unreliability of animal experiments are becoming more widely known. The public clearly expects better science. Animal Aid hopes, with a general election on the horizon, that whatever the political hue of the next government they deliver better science. Existing funding, resources and expertise must be diverted away from animal experiments and used to develop and promote non-animal methods and to support a timetabled roadmap to urgently end all animal experiments. These actions are critical to improve human health, increase scientific progress and to put the UK at the forefront of scientific discovery.’

Iain Green - Director of Animal Aid

Animal Aid has been calling on all political parties to pledge:

  • To put the UK at the forefront of scientific endeavour by diverting existing funding, resources and expertise away from animal experiments, to significantly increase the development and promotion of non-animal methodologies.
  • To support a timetabled roadmap to urgently end all animal experiments, starting with an immediate ban on all research which is not legally required or where non-animal methodologies already exist – such as the Lethal Dose 50.

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