These statistics should be used for general purposes only. Figures will be updated as they become available via our friends at Humane Research Australia.
Please visit this page of the Humane Research Australia website for the archive of Australian statistics compiled since 2004.
Animals use in research & teaching, Australia 2017
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.
Severity of Procedure 2017
Of those animals used in 2017 that were reported (by only five states):
20,089 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 euthanised, 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 anaesthesia or pain relief due to concern that they would alter test results.
268,957 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.
1,660,302 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).