Companion Animals And Views On The Use Of Animals
This survey found that people who were most likely to have a companion animal include married people, younger people, those living in detached homes, and those with children in the household. Attitudes toward animal usage depends primarily on the specific use of the animal under consideration.
Companion Animal Guardianship The majority of survey respondents (63%) own a companion animal. The most popular companion animals are dogs, cats, and fish. People who are more likely to have a companion animal include married people, younger people, those with children in the household, and those living in a detached home.
Attitudes toward Animal Use Survey respondents were generally more concerned about activities that usually lead to an animal’s death or injury (e.g., hunting, dog fighting, medical research) than those that did not (e.g., dog shows, zoos, circus, horse racing). Children and adults showed similar views on these issues.
Adults and children disapprove most strongly of the practice of dog fighting, which was the only illegal animal use included in the study. The vast majority of adults (87%) are opposed to both fox and deer hunting, although other studies conducted in North America revealed lower concerns about hunting.
Companion animal ownership is related to attitudes about the use of animals in medical research, with companion animal owners more likely to disagree with animal testing than non-companion animal owners. There was no difference in attitudes of companion animal and non-companion animal owners with respect to non-medical research; both disapprove of this use.
Ownership of specific types of companion animals had some influence on attitudes toward some animal uses, especially regarding the use of animals similar to those owned. Also, age may influence an individual’s attitudes toward the use of animals; the presence of a companion animal within a household may influence the owner’s perception of animal welfare, with younger owners appearing to be more positively influenced than older owners.
Although demographic factors including gender, age, and companion animal ownership were found to be correlated to people’s attitudes toward the use of animals, in total they accounted for only about 1% of the variance in attitudes. The primary factor was the type of animal use under consideration.