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Study: What Inspires Animal Protection Policy?

Many strongly democratic nations have little civic engagement, especially in the animal rights field. These are likely the best targets for international animal rights activists, as their work will have the largest effect.

OWEN ROGERS: ‘What determines a society’s willingness to protect animals? What inspires policy-makers to take animal issues seriously, and act? That’s what this study set out to answer, looking at factors such as freedom of institutions, level of civic participation, and economic growth. While the effect of these variables on general environmental protections has been studied extensively, less is known about their effect on animal protection more specifically.

The authors of a recent research study hypothesize that, taken together, high levels of economic development, democracy, and civic activism contribute to stronger animal rights protections. They looked at a group of 50 countries to put this theory to the test, all of which are covered by the Animal Protection Index (API), an index of national animal protection rights. The countries included are also the largest producers of meat, eggs, and dairy products…

The authors were unable to find a strong correlation between GDP per capita, and / or API score. Level of democracy was correlated with a higher API score, but there is a ceiling to how democratic a country can become. Civic involvement was a mixed bag. When looking at general civic involvement, there was no significant correlation. However, when focusing solely on animal-focused civic engagement, a correlation emerges…

However, they highlight, many strongly democratic nations have little civic engagement, especially in the animal rights field. These nations are likely the best targets for international animal rights activists, as their work will have the largest effect. What’s more, they suggest that animal advocates also back organizations fighting for democratization, as this will help their cause in the future’. SOURCE…

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