Information on the animals used for research, testing and teaching in New Zealand in the year 2015.

In 2015 an average of 240 animals were killed every day in New Zealand for research, testing or teaching.

NZAVS often gets queries about the numbers of animals used in New Zealand and how many are killed, what types and who uses them.

The National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee (NAEAC) publishes an annual report that includes information on the animals used in New Zealand for research, testing and teaching (RTT) that used to contain information about the animal use for the previous year. As of 2015 the statistics are published separately by the Ministry of Primary Industries. We have summarised them here for ease of access as the MPI report presents them in a variety of ways (actual numbers, percentage compared to previous year, number increase/decrease etc.).

This information is for 2015. This is the most recent data available. The 2016 statistics won’t be released until the last quarter of 2017 at the earliest.

A total of 225 310 animals used in research, testing and teaching were reported in 2015, 84 977 fewer than the previous year. This was a 27.4 percent decrease.

Note: This does not mean that there is an overall trend of less animals being used for RTT in NZ but is due to the nature of the reporting. Some experiments run for longer than a year, sometimes up to 3-4 years. The approval for those only have to be granted once. While that experiment is running for all of those years, they are only counted once. 

Total used: 225 310

Number killed by the end of the RTT: 88 200



Basic biological research: 63 222

Veterinary research: 47 125

Teaching: 29 410.

Animal husbandry research: 20 268

Medical research: 26 291

Testing: 19 191

Environmental management research: 14 195

Species conservation: 3 336

Other: 256

Production of biological agents: 2 016

Development of alternatives: 0


Types of Animals

Amphibia: 1 368

Birds: 15 627

Cats: 519

Cattle: 59 330

Cephalopods/crustaceans: 2 200

Deer: 8 497

Dogs: 812

Fish: 40 764

Goats: 2 052

Guinea pigs: 1 967

Horses/donkeys: 283

Marine mammals: 403

Mice: 48 341

Pigs: 738

Possums: 2 977

Rabbits: 1 494

Rats: 9 387

Reptiles: 4 473

Sheep: 23 474

Misc. species: 604


Organisation Type

Universities: 69 170

Commercial organisations: 96 221

Crown Research Institutes: 34 585

Other (commercial medical research, individuals etc.): 16 367

Government departments: 2 847

Polytechnics: 4 956

Schools: 1 164


 Source: MPI report on the 2014 year


NAEAC report on the 2015 year

Also, click here to find out more details about the animal manipulation forms (for example the definitions of the different purposes) – Animal Use Statistics – Guidance for Completing Statistical Returns

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