These statistics should be used for general purposes only. Figures will be updated as they become available via our friends at Humane Research Australia.
Please visit this page of the Humane Research Australia website for the archive of Australian statistics compiled since 2004.
Animals use in research & teaching, Australia 2015
The latest available figures, from 2015, show that:
- In Victoria, 1,068,034 animals were used
- In New South Wales, 6,121,303 animals were used
- In Tasmania, 159,854 animals were used
Figures for 2015 are not available for Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, or the Northern Territory. However, statistics available from previous years indicate that:
- In Queensland, an average of 1,202,343 animals were used
- In South Australia, an average of 315,822 animals were used
- In Western Australia, approximately 1,119,713 animals were used (2014 figure)
- In the Australian Capital Territory, an average of 122,628 animals were used
- In the Northern Territory, an average of 160,792 animals were used
If figures for all states and territories are collated, this would bring the approximate total number of animals used in Australia in 2015 to over 10.27 million.
This has been the highest number of animals recorded since 2007 (which was 11,482,411). The high number is largely due to NSW counting 4,123,049 native animals in environmental studies which involved observation only.
|Type of animal||VIC||NSW||SA||TAS||QLD||ACT||WA||NT||Total|
|Other Lab Animals||3,883||9||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||3,892|
|Other Stock Animals||60||1,187||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||1,247|
|Exotic ‘feral’ Animals||4||12,710||n/a||847||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||13,561|
|Other Aquatic Animals||24,554||n/a||4,006||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||28,560|
Adjustment NSW breakdown not tallying
n/a – Yet to be received
Purpose of Project 2015
|Purpose of project||VIC||NSW||SA||TAS||QLD||ACT||WA||NT||Total|
|Understanding human or animal biology||357,907||147,914||n/a||22,084||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||527,905|
|Maintenance and improvement of human or animal health and welfare||217,975||152,474||n/a||5,700||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||376,149|
|Improvement of animal management or production||69,443||91,603||n/a||94,279||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||255,325|
|Production of biological products||54,811||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||54,811|
|Achievement of educational objectives||117,374||48,054||n/a||1,351||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||166,779|
|Regulatory product testing||62,746||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||62,746|
n/a – Yet to be received
Severity of Procedure 2015
Of those animals used in 2015 that were reported (by only three states):
- 24,920 (or 0.34%) were in the ‘Death as end point’ category
The aim of experiments in this category requires the animal(s) to die unassisted, i.e. not euthanised, as death is ‘a critical measure of the experimental treatment’. For example, toxicological experiments such as the LD50 test, in which animals are forced to ingest, inhale, be exposed to, or be injected with a particular substance up until the point where 50% of the animals die. The test is generally conducted without anaesthesia or pain relief due to concern that they would alter test results.
- 107,025 (or 1.46%) were in the ‘Major physiological challenge’ category
Experiments in this category require the animal(s) to remain conscious for some or all of the procedure. There is interference with the animal’s physiological or psychological processes. The challenge causes a moderate or large degree of pain/distress, which is not quickly or effectively alleviated. Examples include causing major infection, or artificially inducing cancer, without pain alleviation; isolation or environmental deprivation for extended periods; and monoclonal antibody production in mice.
- 1,113,503 (or 15.15%) were in the ‘Minor conscious intervention’ category
Experiments in this category require the animal(s) to be subjected to minor procedures that would normally not require anaesthesia or analgesia, but can cause some distress. Examples include tail tipping and toe clipping; injections and blood sampling; minor dietary or environmental deprivation; trapping and euthanasia for collection of specimens; and stomach tubing, branding or disbudding (removing the horns from a young animal).
|Severity of procedure||VIC||NSW||SA||TAS||QLD||ACT||WA||NT||Total|
|Observational studies involving minor interference||331,380||4,788,739||n/a||102,124||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||5,222,243|
|Animal unconscious without recovery||120,002||151,234||n/a||32,171||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||303,407|
|Minor conscious intervention||341,740||753,379||n/a||18,384||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||1,113,503|
|Minor operative procedures with recovery||58,299||20,530||n/a||1,658||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||80,487|
|Surgery with recovery||46,047||16,676||n/a||1,300||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||64,023|
|Minor physiological challenge||90,267||73,223||n/a||3,871||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||167,361|
|Major physiological challenge||72,150||34,489||n/a||386||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||107,025|
|Death as an end point||8,149||16,771||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||24,920|
|Production of genetically modified animals||266,262||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||266,262|
n/a – Yet to be received
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Statistics of Animal Use in Research and Teaching, Victoria, Report Number 33, 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015. Published April 2017.
Animal Research Review Panel NSW, Annual Report 2015-2016. Published April 2017.
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Animal Research Statistics Tasmania, Annual Report Number 20 (2015). Published September 2016.
Page updated: May 2017