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Pet, Pest, Profit: Isolating Differences in Attitudes towards the Treatment of Animals
Despite the increasing interest in, and scope of, human–animal studies, few statistically robust measures of attitudes towards animals exist beyond the Animal Attitude Scale (AAS—Herzog, Betchart and Pittman 1991). While extensively utilized, the AAS does not discriminate between categories of animals, that is, pet, pest, and commercially valued species. The current study was therefore conducted to develop a scale aimed at isolating differences in attitudes towards animals across three different categories: (1) pet (companion animal), (2) pest, and (3) profit/utility animals (PPP). Despite limitations due to a low return rate (n = 210), the PPP scale proved to have strong internal reliability, and related well to the AAS. The development of this scale and initial validation are described. Scores on the "pet" subscale were found to be the highest, followed by those on the "profit" then "pest" scales. Other noteworthy results including interactions between gender, occupation, and scores on the PPP subscales are discussed.
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