Brazilian attitudes towards the use of animals in research
Keywords:Animal ethics, Animal welfare, Animal experimentation, Genetic engineering
Little research has examined the views of Latin Americans on the use of animals in research. This study examined the degree to which Brazilians support the use of animals in research and the reasons they put forth to explain their position. Participants were randomly assigned to research scenarios describing the use of animals for biomedical or environmental benefits, and varying in the number of pigs required. Each scenario began by proposing the use of conventional pigs and then advanced to the development and use of genetically modified animals (GMA). A total of 151 quantitative and 307 qualitative answers were analysed. Scenario and number of animals had little effect on support, but opposition increased from 25% to 58% when pigs were used to develop a GM strain for the environmental scenario. Support to use of animals was often conditional upon adequate protection of the animals’ welfare. Participants were less willing to support research on environmental scenario when this involved the creation of GMA, in part because they feared the risk associated with this technology.
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