Statistics

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 animals Vic NSW SA Tas Qld ACT WA NT Total
Mouse 484,206 377,925 85,030 776 n/a n/a 441,028 n/a 1,388,965
Rat 26,251 32,199 6,968 n/a n/a 28,463 n/a 93,881
Guinea Pig 3,856 2,723 615 n/a n/a 1,153 n/a 8,347
Rabbit 1,666 1,771 24 n/a n/a 228 n/a 3,689
Other Lab Animals 4,249 34 27 15 n/a n/a 12 n/a 4,337
Cat 422 849 664 9 n/a n/a 307 n/a 2,251
Dog 1,878 3,093 547 2 n/a n/a 866 n/a 6,386
Other Domestic 132 81 n/a n/a 144 n/a 357
Sheep 117,165 67,596 5,204 43,262 n/a n/a 44,270 n/a 277,497
Cattle 19,480 15,948 10,190 756 n/a n/a 12,708 n/a 59,082
Pig 2,045 25,173 23,095 n/a n/a 4,052 n/a 54,365
Horse/Donkey 938 1,164 951 n/a n/a 409 n/a 3,462
Other Stock Animals 103 1,010 20 n/a n/a 54 n/a 1,187
Native Mammals 9,743 697,764 2,224 37,545 n/a n/a 19,631 n/a 766,907
Exotic ‘feral’ Animals 12 9,411 307 8,747 n/a n/a 4,297 n/a 22,774
Primates 176 22 n/a n/a 21 n/a 219
Domestic Fowl 29,212 571,635 1,469 30 n/a n/a 2,961 n/a 605,307
Other Birds 21,075 167,658 41,105 6,254 n/a n/a 215,849 n/a 451,941
Reptiles 2,113 17,674 5,739 635 n/a n/a 17,025 n/a 43,186
Fish 324,094 39,118 53,295 n/a n/a 182,292 n/a 598,799
Amphibians 9,532 214,616 337 266 n/a n/a 11,877 n/a 236,628
Other Aquatic Animals 25,243 491,114 788 302 n/a n/a 4055 n/a 521,502
Other 916 72 2 n/a n/a 1,237 n/a 2,227
TOTALS 1,084,507 2,699,532  224,424 151,894  n/a  n/a  992,939  n/a 5,153,296

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 procedure Vic NSW SA Tas Qld ACT WA NT Total
Observational studies involving minor interference 375,883 1,276,501 65,934 51,610 n/a n/a 656,027 n/a 2,425,955
Animal unconscious without recovery 144,792 476,557 77,098 39,798 n/a n/a 133,755 n/a 871,000
Minor conscious intervention 274,494 576,018 34,570 53,207 n/a n/a 118,928 n/a 1,057,217
Minor operative procedures with recovery 60,978 40,145 12,457 1,242 n/a n/a 6,478 n/a 121,300
Surgery with recovery 57,948 18,105 10,658 353 n/a n/a 3,751 n/a 90,815
Minor physiological challenge 84,410 96,384 9,944 4,056 n/a n/a 12,381 n/a 207,175
Major physiological challenge 79,143 42,647 10,354 1,628 n/a n/a 557 n/a 134,329
Death as an end point 6,859 15,997 3,409 n/a n/a 3,022 n/a 29,287
Production of genetically modified animals 158,178 n/a n/a 58,039 n/a 216,217
Unspecified n/a n/a 1 n/a 1
TOTALS 1,084,507 2,699,532  224,424 151,894  n/a  n/a  992,939  n/a 5,153,296

n/a – Yet to be received

 

2013 Statistics by Project Purpose

Purpose of project Vic NSW SA Tas Qld ACT WA NT Total
Understanding human or animal biology 410,028 218,541 103,544 15,632 n/a n/a 47,575 n/a 795,320
Maintenance and improvement of human or animal health and welfare 191,599 303,050 31,638 48,485 n/a n/a 18,666 n/a 593,438
Improvement of animal management or production 262,698 227,769 50,515 16,654 n/a n/a 49,017 n/a 606,653
Production of biological products 109,229 n/a n/a n/a 109,229
Diagnostic procedures 1,031 n/a n/a n/a 1,031
Achievement of educational objectives 57,582 34,960 8,990 21,945 n/a n/a 33,969 n/a 157,446
Environmental study 162,600 1,411,046 29,737 49,178 n/a n/a 393,102 n/a 2,045,663
Regulatory product testing 305,242 n/a n/a 4,717 n/a 309,959
Stock Breeding 80,774 n/a n/a 444,015 n/a 524,789
Stock Maintenance 7,890 n/a n/a n/a 7,890
Unspecified n/a n/a 1,878 n/a 1,878
TOTALS 1,084,507 2,699,532  224,424 151,894  n/a  n/a  992,939  n/a 5,153,296

n/a – Yet to be received

Sources:

VIC

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.

NSW

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

SA

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.

TAS

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

QLD

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

ACT

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

WA

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

NT

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

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