SOURCE: Foundation for Biomedical Research

February 12, 2015 09:00 ET

Public Support for Animal Research Surges 12 Points in Latest Poll

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - February 12, 2015) - Public support for animal research has jumped 12 points in the last five months according to a new poll from Zogby Analytics. Almost 58 percent of more than 1,000 adults surveyed support the humane and responsible use of animals in biomedical research.

"The rise in public opinion support seems to coincide with the arrival of Ebola to American shores and the emergence of a measles outbreak," says Paul McKellips, executive vice president at the Foundation for Biomedical Research in Washington. "When infectious diseases or other incurable conditions reach our doorstep, we're reminded that scientists and researchers need to use animal models to develop vaccines, antibiotics, therapies and cures that are safe and effective."

In the latest monthly tracking poll from Zogby Analytics almost 68 percent of men and 48 percent of women agreed with medical and scientific research that requires the use of lab animals.

"Nearly 97 percent of all animals used in biomedical research are rodents, fruit flies and zebra fish," says Matt Bailey, executive vice president of the National Association for Biomedical Research. "And with the help of expedited research in rodents and nonhuman primates, several companies appear to be moving closer to FDA approval for Ebola vaccines."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, measles is the most deadly of all childhood rash/fever illnesses. The disease spreads very easily, so it is important to protect against infection. Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent measles. Measles vaccine is usually administered as MMR, a combination vaccine that provides protection against three viral diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella. The MMR vaccine is strongly endorsed by medical and public health experts as safe and effective. In the United States, two doses are recommended for children:

  •  The first dose at 12-15 months of age
  •  The second dose before entering school, at 4-6 years of age

Early vaccines for measles were developed in animal models in the late 1950s and early 1960s before Dr. Maurice Hilleman developed the MMR vaccine in 1971.

The monthly tracking poll was conducted by Zogby Analytics January 16-18, 2015 with 1,008 adults. The margin of error is 3.1 percent.

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