These statistics should be used for general purposes only. Figures will be updated as they become available.
The latest available figures, from 2016, show that:
- In Victoria, 1,080,136 animals were used
- In New South Wales, 4,977,239 animals were used
- In Tasmania, 225,994 animals were used
- In Queensland, 4,519,470 animals were used
- In Western Australia, 933,242 animals were used.
Figures for 2016 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 2016 to over 12 million. Approximately 75% of these animals were used for observational studies, however this can still involve some harm to the animals involved.
2016 Statistics by Species
|Other Lab Animals||3,223||51||n/a||n/a||n/a||3,274|
|Other Stock Animals||2,536||254||n/a||1,155||n/a||4||n/a||3,949|
|Exotic ‘feral’ Animals||2,346||15,351||n/a||581||14,201||n/a||22,441||n/a||54,920|
|Other Aquatic Animals||19,989||n/a||103||1,679||n/a||8,091||n/a||29,862|
2016 Statistics by Procedure Severity
Of those animals used in 2016 that were reported (by only four states):
- 22,689 (or 0.31%) 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.
- 115,663 (or 1.6%) 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.
- 5,415,983 (or 75%) were in the ‘Observational studies involving minor interference’ category
|SEVERITY OF PROCEDURE||VIC||NSW||SA||TAS||QLD||ACT||WA||NT||TOTAL|
|Observational studies involving minor interference||453,951||4,030,182||169,834||762,016||5,415,983|
|Animal unconscious without recovery||109,385||87,443||12,233||10,316||219,377|
|Minor conscious intervention||251,491||432,697||24,296||70,788||779,272|
|Minor operative procedures with recovery||46,939||19,838||12,953||10,322||90,052|
|Surgery with recovery||43,968||16,082||507||4,129||64,686|
|Minor physiological challenge||85,982||92,516||2,380||19,873||200,751|
|Major physiological challenge||81,523||29,148||3,791||1,201||115,663|
|Death as an end point||6,897||15,741||51||22,689|
|Production of genetically modified animals||253,592||54,546||308,138|
2016 Statistics by Project Purpose
|PURPOSE OF PROJECT||VIC||NSW||SA||TAS||QLD||ACT||WA||NT||TOTAL|
|Understanding human or animal biology||518,393||2,839,472||38,880||37,807||3,434,552|
|Maintenance and improvement of human or animal health and welfare||182,039||104,590||106,171||19,435||412,235|
|Improvement of animal management or production||109,120||111,880||9,198||35,740||265,938|
|Production of biological products||42,890||42,890|
|Achievement of educational objectives||51,771||39,301||3,977||54,558||149,607|
|Regulatory product testing||21,039||656||21,695|
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Statistics of Animal Use in Research and Teaching, Victoria, Report Number 34, 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. Published June 2018. See here for further analysis.
Animal Research Review Panel NSW, Annual Report 2016-2017. Published April 2018. See here for further analysis.
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Animal Research Statistics Tasmania, Annual Report Number 21(2016). Published September 2017.
DAF Animal Ethics Committees Annual Report Summary for the period 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017.
Note that no breakdown was available for Procedure Severity or Project Purpose as stats were provided as number of projects rather than numbers of animals used.
Data used to collate figures provided by the Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA), 2017. Note: Fish and cephalopods are not mandatory to report.