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
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
Production of biological agents: 2 016
Development of alternatives: 0
Types of Animals
Birds: 15 627
Cattle: 59 330
Cephalopods/crustaceans: 2 200
Deer: 8 497
Fish: 40 764
Goats: 2 052
Guinea pigs: 1 967
Marine mammals: 403
Mice: 48 341
Possums: 2 977
Rabbits: 1 494
Rats: 9 387
Reptiles: 4 473
Sheep: 23 474
Misc. species: 604
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
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