Statistics 2013 – Animal use in research and teaching, Australia

These statistics should be used for general purposes only. Figures will be updated as they become available.

The latest available figures, from 2013, show that:

  • In Victoria, 1,084,507 animals were used
  • In New South Wales, 2,699,532 animals were used
  • In Tasmania, 151,894 animals were used
  • In Western Australia, approximately 992,939 animals were used
  • In South Australia, over 224,424 animals were used.


Figures for 2013 are not available for Queensland, 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 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 2013 to over 6.6 million.


2013 Statistics by Species

2013 statistics that were reported (by only five states) indicate that:

  • 6,386 dogs were used in experiments
  • 2,251 cats were used in experiments
  • 764,683 native mammals were used in experiments, including koalas, wallabies, possums, and wombats
  • 219 primates were used in experiments
  • 1,388,965 mice were used in experiments
  • 277,497 sheep were used were in experiments
  • 605,307 domestic fowl (e.g. chickens, ducks, etc) and 410,836 other types of birds were used in experiments


Type of animalsVicNSWSATasQldACTWANTTotal
Guinea Pig3,8562,723615n/an/a1,153n/a8,347
Other Lab Animals4,249342715n/an/a12n/a4,337
Other Domestic13281n/an/a144n/a357
Other Stock Animals1031,01020n/an/a54n/a1,187
Native Mammals9,743697,7642,22437,545n/an/a19,631n/a766,907
Exotic ‘feral’ Animals129,4113078,747n/an/a4,297n/a22,774
Domestic Fowl29,212571,6351,46930n/an/a2,961n/a605,307
Other Birds21,075167,65841,1056,254n/an/a215,849n/a451,941
Other Aquatic Animals25,243491,114788302n/an/a4055n/a521,502
TOTALS1,084,5072,699,532 224,424151,894 n/a n/a 992,939 n/a5,153,296

n/a – Yet to be received

NSW (Other): Exotic zoo animals; VIC: 23 exotic zoo animals and 893 wild animals; WA (Other): 138 ‘Zoo animals’ and 1057 unspecified.

VIC: Including 103 goats; NSW: Including 927 goats and 83 deer.

VIC: Including 98 macaques and 78 marmosets in VIC; NSW: Including 11 baboons, and 11 unspecified.

VIC: Including 2126 ferrets and 2123 others; TAS: Including 15 cetaceans.

NSW (Other Aquatic Animals): Unspecified; TAS 302 cephalopods; VIC: 442 cephalopods, 22,851 crustaceans, 123 whales/dolphins, and 1827 seals/sealions.

Note: Reporting of fish and cephalopods not mandatory in WA.

NB: Due to inconsistencies in data provided, some WA had to be excluded, which means that this total does not include all animals used in research and teaching in WA in 2013.


2013 Statistics by Procedure Severity

Of those animals used in 2013 that were reported (by only four states):

  • 29,287 (or 0.56%) 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 euthanased, 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 anesthesia or pain relief due to concern that they would alter test results.

  • 134,329 (or 2.6%) 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.

  • 1,057,217 (or 20.5%) 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 procedureVicNSWSATasQldACTWANTTotal
Observational studies involving minor interference375,8831,276,50165,93451,610n/an/a656,027n/a2,425,955
Animal unconscious without recovery144,792476,55777,09839,798n/an/a133,755n/a871,000
Minor conscious intervention274,494576,01834,57053,207n/an/a118,928n/a1,057,217
Minor operative procedures with recovery60,97840,14512,4571,242n/an/a6,478n/a121,300
Surgery with recovery57,94818,10510,658353n/an/a3,751n/a90,815
Minor physiological challenge84,41096,3849,9444,056n/an/a12,381n/a207,175
Major physiological challenge79,14342,64710,3541,628n/an/a557n/a134,329
Death as an end point6,85915,9973,409n/an/a3,022n/a29,287
Production of genetically modified animals158,178n/an/a58,039n/a216,217
TOTALS1,084,5072,699,532 224,424151,894 n/a n/a 992,939 n/a5,153,296

n/a – Yet to be received


2013 Statistics by Project Purpose

Purpose of projectVicNSWSATasQldACTWANTTotal
Understanding human or animal biology410,028218,541103,54415,632n/an/a47,575n/a795,320
Maintenance and improvement of human or animal health and welfare191,599303,05031,63848,485n/an/a18,666n/a593,438
Improvement of animal management or production262,698227,76950,51516,654n/an/a49,017n/a606,653
Production of biological products109,229n/an/an/a109,229
Diagnostic procedures1,031n/an/an/a1,031
Achievement of educational objectives57,58234,9608,99021,945n/an/a33,969n/a157,446
Environmental study162,6001,411,04629,73749,178n/an/a393,102n/a2,045,663
Regulatory product testing305,242n/an/a4,717n/a309,959
Stock Breeding80,774n/an/a444,015n/a524,789
Stock Maintenance7,890n/an/an/a7,890
TOTALS1,084,5072,699,532 224,424151,894 n/a n/a 992,939 n/a5,153,296

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 31, 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013. Published 2015.


Animal Research Review Panel NSW, Annual Report 2013-2014. Published December 2014.


Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources response to FOI external review received April 2017. It has been acknowledged that the SA statistics are incomplete and that the majority of animals used have not been reported as it is not a legal requirement in South Australia.


Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Animal Research Statistics Tasmania, Annual Report Number 18 (2013), September 2014.


Yet to be received or released publicly. Personal correspondence with the Animal Welfare Officer, 12th December 2013. Freedom of Information request sent 2014.


On an annual basis, no ACT-wide statistics are compiled (confirmed via correspondence with ACT Government, 6th February 2014).


Data used to collate figures provided by the Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA), 2014.


Statistics are not yet available. Personal correspondence with Animal Welfare Unit, 12th December 2013. FOI sent 2014.

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