Statistics 2014 – 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 2014, show that:

  • In Victoria, 910,052 animals were used
  • In New South Wales, 2,964,280 animals were used
  • In Tasmania, 201,090 animals were used
  • In Western Australia, approximately 1,119,713 animals were used


Figures for 2014 are not available for Queensland, South 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 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 2014 to over 6.99 million.

2014 Statistics by Species

2014 statistics that were reported (by only four states) indicate that:

  • 6,613 dogs were used in experiments
  • 2,183 cats were used in experiments
  • 676,066 native mammals were used in experiments, including koalas, wallabies, possums, and wombats
  • 202 primates were used in experiments
  • 2,023,834 mice were used in experiments
  • 113,158 rats were used in experiments
  • 333,922 sheep were used were in experiments
  • 425,994 domestic fowl (e.g. chickens, ducks, etc) and 384,225 other types of birds were used in experiments


Type of animalsVicNSWSATasQldACTWANTTotal
Guinea Pig5,1602,427n/an/an/a4n/a7,591
Other Lab Animals1,81198n/an/an/an/a1,909
Other Domestic116130n/an/an/a36n/a282
Other Stock Animals3481,036n/an/an/a540n/a1,924
Native Mammals13,627598,741n/a2,373n/an/a61,325n/a676,066
Exotic ‘feral’ Animals323,206n/an/an/a3,422n/a26,631
Domestic Fowl97,634327,049n/a30n/an/a1,281n/a425,994
Other Birds23,127133,509n/a11,786n/an/a215,803n/a384,225
Other Aquatic Animals24,17965,2902n/a274n/an/a6,752n/a684,107
 n/a n/a1,119,713

n/a – Yet to be received

NSW (Other): Exotic zoo animals; VIC: 9 exotic zoo animals and 523 wild animals; WA (Other): 86 ‘Zoo animals’, 520 invertebrates, and 342 unspecified.

NSW (Other Aquatic Animals): Unspecified; TAS: 43 cephalopods, 231 crustaceans; VIC: 123 cephalopods, 22,315 crustaceans, 135 whales/dolphins, 1606 seals/sealions.

VIC: Including 348 goats; NSW: Including 800 goats and 236 deer; WA: Including 540 goats.

VIC: Including 87 macaques and 56 marmosets; NSW: Including 26 baboons, and 15 unspecified.

VIC: Including 49 koalas, 5 wombats, 148 monotremes, 2587 native rats/mice, 1956 possums/gliders, 639 dasyurids, 5183 macropods, and 3060 other. TAS: 17 platypus, 10 possums/gliders, 30 native rats/mice, 130 seals, 208 wombats, 649 tasmania devils, 18 cetaceans (whales, dophins, and porpoises), 1176 macropods (kangaroos, wallabies, etc), 14 echidnas, and 121 other native mammals.

TAS: Including 346 lizards; VIC: Including 1328 lizards, 113 turtles/tortoises, 43 snakes, and 77 other.

Including 14 ferrets and 84 hamsters in NSW, and 1356 ferrets in VIC.

NB: This figure has been corrected to take into account a discrepancy of 194 animals in the NSW statistics. HRA is awaiting a response from the NSW Department to clarify this.

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.


2014 Statistics by Procedure Severity

Of those animals used in 2014 that were reported (by only four states):

  • 26,397 (or 0.51%) 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.

  • 189,334 (or 3.64%) 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.

  • 1,071,816 (or 20.63%) 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 interference236,9721,036,463n/a26,532n/an/a879,996n/a2,179,963
Animal unconscious without recovery137,121384,507n/a18,997n/an/a32,124n/a572,749
Minor conscious intervention241,165568,416n/a149,946n/an/a112,289n/a1,071,816
Minor operative procedures with recovery60,07224,794n/a2,201n/an/a14,280n/a101,347
Surgery with recovery44,55728,588n/a194n/an/a645n/a73,984
Minor physiological challenge96,22685,842n/a2,507n/an/a3,942n/a188,517
Major physiological challenge83,961103,859n/a713n/an/a801n/a189,334
Death as an end point9,97816,351n/an/an/a68n/a26,397
Production of genetically modified animals715,460n/an/an/a75,226n/a790,686
 n/a n/a1,119,713

n/a – Yet to be received


2014 Statistics by Project Purpose

Purpose of projectVicNSWSATasQldACTWANTTotal
Understanding human or animal biology371,985201,636n/a11,601n/an/a39,488n/a624,710
Maintenance and improvement of human or animal health and welfare250,8431,024,919n/a163,058n/an/a20,299n/a1,459,119
Improvement of animal management or production86,48276,422n/a4,723n/an/a28,321n/a195,948
Production of biological products28,870n/an/an/an/a28,870
Diagnostic procedures1,310n/an/an/an/a1,310
Achievement of educational objectives66,99268,717n/a14,214n/an/a33,215n/a183,138
Environmental study133,7501,228,905n/a7,494n/an/a246,637n/a1,716,786
Regulatory product testing275,885n/an/an/a6,480n/a282,365
Stock Breeding47,116n/an/an/a643,820n/a690,936
Stock Maintenance10,500n/an/an/an/a10,500
TOTALS910,0522,964,280 n/a201,090 n/a n/a1,119,713 n/a5,195,135

n/a – Yet to be received

837 animals in ‘Animals Held’ category, and 616 unspecified for WA



Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Statistics of Animal Use in Research and Teaching, Victoria, Report Number 32, 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014. Published February 2016.


Animal Research Review Panel NSW, Annual Report 2014-2015. Published January 2016.


Personal correspondence with the Animal Welfare Project Officer, Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (South Australian Government) on 23rd March 2015, that indicated that statistics will no longer be collected by the Department. Freedom of Information request sent May 2015 – release of statistics denied February 2016; Internal Review submitted February 2016 – release of statistics denied April 2016; External Review requested May 2016 – outcome pending.


Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Animal Research Statistics Tasmania, Annual Report Number 19 (2014), September 2015.


Yet to be received or released publicly. Personal correspondence with FOI Officer, 30th October 2015, stating that Biosecurity Queensland has advised that the department does continue to collect animal use statistics from registrants annually, although these have not been collated in a presentable format. The last time this collation took place was for the 2009 draft report. FOI 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), 2015.


Statistics are not yet available. No indication given of when (or if) they will be available. Personal correspondence with Animal Welfare Unit, 12th December 2013. FOI sent 2014.

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