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Us and Them : Scientists' and Animal Rights Campaigners' Views of the Animal Experimentation Debate

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Animal rights campaigners and scientists working with animals completed anonymous questionnaires in which they were asked to report, not only on their own beliefs and ideas about the animal experimentation debate, but also on those they perceived the opposing group to hold. Both groups of participants tended to have a negative and somewhat extreme view of the other. But they did have an accurate grasp of the arguments and defenses commonly offered on both sides of the debate, and showed some agreement concerning the relative capacity of different animals to suffer. Differences appeared in the level of the phylogenetic hierarchy at which participants thought animals might be capable of suffering, and in their decision-making processes regarding the admissibility of animal experiments.



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