New Poll Shows Support for Animal Protection Rising in the U.S

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Animal protection has the support of 85 percent of Americans, according to a new poll conducted by the National Council for Animal Protection and the Humane Research Council.

The outcome of the survey is quite encouraging, and if this humane trend is sustained, it means that better days are ahead for the animals in our nation.

The National Council for Animal Protection (NCAP) and the Humane Research Council (HRC) partnered in the spring of 2014 to conduct an opinion poll of the American public towards the animal protection cause and animal protection advocates. The results, which indicate a significantly positive shift in how Americans see the animal protection movement and its goals, were presented to NCAP members at the organization’s annual Summit for the Animals meeting on June 27 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

The survey replicated a similar poll conducted by NCAP and HRC in 2005, allowing for analysis of significant trends in opinions towards animal protection over time. Data for both polls were collected by Survey Sampling International, which surveyed a representative online sample of 1,000 U.S. adults.

The results of the 2014 poll were striking: Of six major charitable causes listed, animal protection emerged as the cause most favorable to Americans, garnering support from 85 percent of Americans, up from 71 percent in 2005. Also significant is that those who have “a great deal of respect” for animal protection organizations and activists more than doubled over the time period, jumping from just a quarter of the U.S. adult population in 2005 to more than half of that population in 2014. Seventy-four percent of respondents agreed with the statement that “humans have an obligation to never harm animals,” and 79 percent agreed that “animals should be protected from all suffering and harm caused by humans.” These percentages reflect an increase from the 2005 poll results of 56 and 64 percent, respectively.

In addition, the NCAP/HRC poll examined personal behavior changes related to animals, and found that the number of people who have adopted a companion animal from a shelter and those who have chosen to reduce their consumption of meat and dairy products have both increased significantly since 2005. However, behavioral changes showed a slower rate of increase than attitudinal changes towards the movement, indicating that actual behavior is lagging behind professed attitudes.

“The outcome of the survey is quite encouraging, and if this humane trend is sustained, it means that better days are ahead for the animals in our nation,” said Wim DeKok, president of NCAP.


The National Council for Animal Protection is a 501(c)(3) federation of U.S. animal protection organizations that works collectively to increase public visibility and understanding of animal issues. It traces its roots to the annual Summit for the Animals meetings, the first of which was organized in 1985. To assist its members in improving the treatment and status of all animals, NCAP initiates public opinion research, recognizes outstanding leaders in animal advocacy, and features a Code of Ethics that calls for cooperation and mutual respect among organizations working for animal protection. To learn more about NCAP, visit

The Humane Research Council, based in Olympia, Washington, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that conducts independent research and analysis on a wide variety of animal-related topics for national and grassroots organizations. HRC, which was founded in 2000 by a small group of professional researchers and marketers, also provides consulting services, written reports, presentations, and other resources for animal advocates. To learn more about HRC, visit

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Jessica Bridgers
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