Report shows steep rise in support for health charities that don't fund animal tests

11/30/05

A growing number of Americans favor health charities that have a policy against funding animal experiments, according to a new report released today by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). The analysis, "Trends in Humane Giving," demonstrates that support for such charities has increased by 20 percent in the past four years and by 31 percent in the past nine years. The report compares results of a public opinion poll conducted this summer with similar surveys completed in 1996 and in 2001.

"Humane giving is a trend whose time has come," says report author Kristie Stoick, M.P.H , a PCRM research analyst. "Our report shows that most Americans object to animals being used in medical research, especially when more effective and humane methods such as cell and tissue testing, computer-based modeling, and simulation are available."

Key findings:

  • Seventy-one percent of respondents polled in 2005 say it is important to them that their health donations be used for innovative non-animal research rather than animal experiments.
  • Support for humane giving is growing faster in older populations. In 1996, young people were more likely than older people to be concerned about animal experiments, but the gap between young and old is decreasing.
  • Sixty-seven percent of adults polled in 2005 say they are more likely to donate to a health charity that has a policy of never funding animal experiments than to one that does.

"Trends in Humane Giving" is based on random telephone surveys conducted by Opinion Research Corporation of Princeton, New Jersey, on behalf of PCRM in July 2005, November 2001, and November 1996. PCRM first commissioned the research when it sensed that growing consumer demand for "cruelty-free" personal care products would carry over to charitable giving.

After determining that a sizable number of donors were interested in "cruelty-free" giving, PCRM established the Humane Charity Seal of Approval (www.HumaneSeal.org) program to certify those health charities that provide vital patient services or conduct cutting-edge research without the use of animals. The Seal's stylized rabbit makes it simple for donors to quickly determine if a health charity matches their values. PCRM administers the program on behalf of the Council on Humane Giving, a coalition of physician and animal protection groups. Today, nearly 250 health charities have received certification; there is no charge for certification.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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