Animal Tracker – Year 5
The first survey (Wave 1, 2008) included 16 questions; five of these questions were asked again in 2009 (Wave 2) and in the current wave (Wave 5, 2012). In summary, the most recent survey finds that while there is generally a high level of support for the animal protection movement and concern for animals in various situations, it has been declining over time. US adults are also devoting less attention to animal protection issues than in previous years and are more likely to feel that the current legal protections for animals are adequate.
Year 5 Results in Brief:
- There is a high level of support for the animal protection movement. The animal protection and workers’ rights movements were rated favorably by more respondents than any other social movements listed in the survey, each receiving a “favorable” opinion by 68% of respondents. Further, only 7% of respondents rated their opinion of the animal protection movement as “unfavorable.”
- There is a lack of discussion and knowledge of animal protection issues among U.S. adults, indicating a need to educate the general population about animal protection issues. Fewer than half (45%) of U.S. adults discussed animal protection on at least a monthly basis.
- At least one-quarter of respondents indicated not knowing or having an opinion about the adequacy of animal protection laws in various situations.
- People are most likely to find veterinarians credible on issues of animal welfare and animal protection, and least likely to find attorneys, businesses or corporations credible sources of information. The credibility of animal protection groups falls in between. This highlights the potential utility of including veterinarians in animal protection outreach efforts.
- The amount of importance placed on the protection and welfare of animals in various situations has declined in 2012 compared to 2009. Even so, the welfare of animals is still important to a majority of U.S. adults. At least 75% of respondents rated the welfare and protection of animals as “very” or “somewhat” important in all situations addressed in this survey. This even includes situations in which animals are used for economic benefit, such as animals used for food and horses and dogs used for racing.