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 2016

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 Western Australia, 933,242 animals were used

Figures for 2016 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 2016 to over 9 million.

Severity of Procedure 2016

Of those animals used in 2016 that were reported (by only three states):

  • 22,689 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.

  • 115,663 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.

  • 779,272 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).


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