These statistics should be used for general purposes only.
The latest available figures, from 2017, show that:
- In Victoria, 1,571,374 animals were used
- In New South Wales, 2,625,290 animals were used
- In Tasmania, 288,386 animals were used
- In Queensland, 13,298,741 animals were used
- In Western Australia, 2,376,678 animals were used.
Figures for 2017 are not available for South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, or the Northern Territory. However, statistics available from previous years indicate that:
- In South Australia, an average of 315,822 animals were used
- 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 2017 to almost 21 million – a massive increase over the previous year (approx. 12 million in 2016). Please refer to the notes below for an explanation of this increase.
|Other Lab Animals||3,654||3,654|
|Other Stock Animals||1,629||572||9||2,210|
|Exotic ‘feral’ Animals||4,266||5,338||72,618||12,022||55,622||149,866|
|Other Aquatic Animals||19,326||16,564||1,943||9,276||47,109|
|PURPOSE OF PROJECT||VIC||NSW||SA||TAS||QLD||ACT||WA||NT||TOTAL|
|Understanding human or animal biology||679,260||190,894||21,631||34,466||926,251|
|Maintenance and improvement of human or animal health and welfare||225,688||116,835||8,331||18,029||368,883|
|Improvement of animal management or production||78,270||167,998||7,519||51,816||305,603|
|Production of biological products||55,365||55,365|
|Achievement of educational objectives||110,932||36,815||8,408||94,342||250,497|
|Regulatory product testing||16,557||833||17,390|
|Other / Unspecified||13,298,741||10||13,298,751|
|SEVERITY OF PROCEDURE||VIC||NSW||SA||TAS||QLD||ACT||WA||NT||TOTAL|
|Observational studies involving minor interference||405,932||1,594,948||243,627||1,635,365||3,879,872|
|Animal unconscious without recovery||165,777||83,924||13,645||81,339||344,685|
|Minor conscious intervention||649,582||447,235||19,367||544,118||1,660,302|
|Minor operative procedures with recovery||43,498||29,891||2,861||10,778||87,028|
|Surgery with recovery||38,619||28,436||392||30,505||97,952|
|Minor physiological challenge||146,470||94,184||6,833||21,470||268,957|
|Major physiological challenge||115,625||77,292||1,653||1,769||196,339|
|Death as an end point||5,871||13,982||8||228||20,089|
|Production of genetically modified animals||255,398||51,106||306,504|
WA figures increased significantly from the previous year due to 1.2 million native animals used in environmental studies under the category “Observational studies involving minor interference”.
HRA queried the WA Dept. about this increase and have been advised the figure includes a variety of native species but there was either no animal interaction or alternatively, where there is interaction, it is not expected to compromise animal welfare any more than normal handling or feeding would. They identified that there was significant variability in reporting from camera images. Specifically, camera images were not able to differentiate between individual animals so licensees were likely to report a significantly larger number of individuals than were actually used for scientific purposes. For example, multiple images may be taken of the same individual.
They were further informed that reporting methods have since been modified to differentiate between animals used for observation purposes, versus animals appearing in camera images. It is hoped that this will result in more accurate reporting numbers in the future.
Queensland figures also increased significantly from the previous year (13.3 million in 2017 versus 4.5 million in 2016). The 2017 figure includes over 12 million domestic fowl, however the Queensland Dept. Agriculture & Fisheries has not provided a breakdown of purpose nor category (ie impact on animals). These categories list the number of projects rather than the number of animals.
HRA therefore lodged an FOI to determine the purpose and category for which these birds were used. The information released indicated that the research was non-invasive.
Victoria – Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Statistics of animal use in research and teaching, Victoria, Report Number 35, 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. Published June 2019
New South Wales – NSW Animal Use Statistics Report 2017. Published June 2019
Tasmania – Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Animal Research Statistics Tasmania, Annual Report Number 22 (2017), September 2018.
Queensland – DAF Animal Ethics Committees Annual Report Summary for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018
Western Australia – Data used to collate figures provided by the Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA), November 2018.