June 24, 2010

New Study Aims To Promote Animal Welfare

Research conducted in Cyprus focuses on attitudes to animals

A new study at the University of Leicester aims to promote animal welfare in Cyprus and the UK.

The postgraduate research study is being conducted by Alexia Zalaf in the School of Psychology. Preliminary results from the study will be showcased at the University of Leicester's Festival of Postgraduate Research on 24 June.

She has developed a new questionnaire to measure people's attitudes to animals as well as animal abuse "“ with a view to influencing change in the way people and authorities tackle the issue. Her supervisor, Professor Vince Egan says the work will provide a systematic tool for understanding people who intentionally or inadvertently hurt animals, enabling researchers to more fully investigate the field.

Alexia said: "Carrying out this research in Cyprus and the UK will provide much needed evidence into attitudes towards animal abuse, which is a newly established area. This research study will provide the framework for future researchers both in Cyprus and the UK to further develop the field.

"The results obtained from the development of a new questionnaire measuring attitudes to animal welfare could have a profound effect on society as a whole. The Cypriot government has laws readily available to be enforced that involve the welfare of animals, and dogs in particular. However, the infrastructure in dealing with issues of animal welfare is still in the very early stages.

"It is our hope then, that the development of this questionnaire will highlight people's views on animal welfare and identify the magnitude of the problem. Eventually, our long term goal is to promote awareness of the phenomenon of animal abuse, and promote action not only by the general public but also by the responsible authorities."


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