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Spotlight on HRC's Independent Research

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In a nutshell, the Humane Research Council (HRC) does three things: 1) Help our clients by designing -- and analyzing results from -- a wide variety of research projects; 2) Make resources like HumaneSpot.org available to both animal groups and individual advocates; and 3) Produce independent research to inform advocates and help them be more effective. However, some readers may not be aware of HRC's independent research; the full reports are free and available online, so here's a quick overview.

HRC’s Free Research Primer Series

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When fellow animal advocates ask me questions about research on animal protection issues, I typically ask them if they have looked at our research primers. In response, I usually hear "Research what? Where?" I am guessing that many advocates, even those of you who follow our work, are not aware of the full wealth of free data we have available. Here I want to highlight HRC's research primers, since they are a free resource that can help all advocates better understand the issues on which they are working. So let me tell you a little about them.

Entertainment, Education, and Captive Animals

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For many families, summer is a time for entertainment and family field trips. Many of the most popular theme parks and special events of the summer involve the use of animals for entertainment: county fairs have petting zoos; water parks have dolphin-shows; circuses entertain audiences by having large animals perform tricks; and zoos and aquariums leave animals in enclosures so that they can be observed by human visitors.

YouGov / League Against Cruel Sports Survey Results

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This March 2010 survey examined public attitudes toward various forms of animal fighting, finding that the majority of British adults are opposed to animal baiting, but many do not know the actual laws. Among the findings of this report, 92% of the British public think dog fighting should be illegal, while 76% believe that it is already illegal. More than two-thirds (69%) think that a prison sentence is the most appropriate punishment for the offense of dog fighting.

HumaneSpot.org: A Little Something for Every Animal Advocate

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Written by Diane Venberg, one of HRC's 2010 interns, this wonderful overview of HumaneSpot.org shows the breadth of our research database and highlights a number of important studies. Be sure to give this blog a read if you've been wanting a taste of what HumaneSpot.org has to offer before applying for access. And if you have any research that you think should be included in our database, be sure to let us know.

New Survey Reveals Strong and Growing Support for Animal Protection

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 28, 2010

Contact: Che Green, Executive Director, (206) 905-9887, cgreen@humaneresearch.org

New Survey Reveals Strong and Growing Support for Animal Protection

Insight for Advocates: See the Latest Animal Tracker Results

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As those of us at HRC mention regularly, the purpose of conducting research is often to overcome (or validate) our own assumptions and biased viewpoints. It can be difficult for advocates who feel strongly about animal protection to understand the attitudes and behavior of those who are less moved by the suffering of animals. To really know what non-advocates think - and why - it is essential to ask them directly and then filter their responses through rigorous analysis. You may be surprised by the answers and how different they can be from the beliefs of animal advocates.

The Animal Tracker (Wave 3 - March 2010)

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These results from Wave 3 of the Humane Research Council's annual survey of U.S. adults regarding attitudes and behavior toward animals shows strong support for the protection of all animals, but knowledge of some animal issues remains low and the perceived impact of animal advocates is modest.

Do Zoos and Aquariums Promote Attitude Change in Visitors? A Critical Evaluation of the American Zoo and Aquarium Study

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This analysis of a 2007 study by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (Falk, et al.) finds at least six major threats to the study's methodological validity, leaving no compelling evidence for the AZA's conclusion that visits to zoos and aquariums produce long-term positive effects on people's attitudes toward other animals.

Tulsa Zoo Organizational Analysis and Governance Study

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This organizational analysis of the Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum identified recommendations for an ideal governance model for future growth and development of the facility. The report includes relevant operating info on other American Zoo Association (AZA) accredited facilities and operations.

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