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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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Attitudes in China Toward the Use of Animals in Laboratory Research

Gareth Davey and Zhihui Wu

Public support is a strong impetus for the adoption of alternatives to laboratory animals. It is therefore important to find out what a society thinks about ethical animal use. In the case of China, a useful line of enquiry was to survey Chinese people’s views, as their country is renowned for the deplorable conditions under which animals are kept. This report concerns an investigation into the attitudes of Chinese university students toward the use of animals in laboratory research. The survey revealed a moderate concern amongst students; for example, they agreed that the use of animals for testing cosmetics and household products is unnecessary and should be stopped, and disagreed that humans have the right to use animals as they see fit. This finding is very encouraging. Further research is needed, in order to understand Chinese views about the justification of using animals in research.