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Pet Ownership and Adults' Views on the Use of Animals

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Four hundred and twenty-two adults completed a postal questionnaire in which they provided information regarding pet ownership and their attitudes toward 13 issues involving the use of animals. Over 63% of the sample owned a household pet, with the dog being the most common. Household pets were more commonly owned by respondents who were married, younger than 65 years of age, living in detached houses, or with a child/children present in the home. Most concern was expressed toward those types of animal uses which lead to death or injury, especially dog fighting. Females expressed more disagreement than males with most of the uses o f animals examined. Dog owners expressed more approval offox-hunting and hare-coursing than non-dog owners, and horse owners expressed more approval offox-hunting than non-horse owners. This study reveals that some of the ways in which people use animals are considered more acceptable than others, and suggests that it is incorrect to group different kinds of animal use into one broad category. The authors argue that future years may see a shift in the way society uses animals, from manipulation toward care for their well-being.



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