TOTAL ANIMALS USED: 309,872
A total of 308,872 animals used for research, testing and teaching purposes were reported in 2021, that's 64,350 more than the previous year.
The rolling 3-year average was 290,323, which is an increase of 2,846 from the previous year.
NUMBER OF ANIMALS WHO DIED: 146,362 (47%)
A total of 146,362 animals died or were euthanised during or after manipulations (including animals who were killed for the purpose of using their tissues). This is 47% of the total number of animals used that year. See a breakdown below.
- Animals who died or were euthanised during or after manipulations: 121,128.
- Animals who were killed for their tissues: 25,234.
Additional animals killed:
In 2021, 178,569 animals that were bred for research, testing or teaching purposes but not used were killed. This included mice, rats, fish, guinea pigs, rabbits, sheep, possums and amphibians.
This is 29,073 more animals than the previous year.
Animals were used in the following ways in 2021:
- Basic biological research: 63,762
- Veterinary research: 26,989
- Teaching: 41,325
- Animal husbandry research: 62,879
- Medical research: 17,753
- Environmental management research: 71,151
- Species conservation: 8,003
- Other: 1965
- Production of biological agents: 255
- Development of alternatives: 163
- Producing offspring with compromised welfare: 0
TYPES OF ANIMALS
The following categories of animals were used in 2021:
- Alpacas/llamas: 40
- Amphibia: 408
- Birds: 6,711
- Cats: 762
- Cattle: 57,308
- Cephalopods/crustaceans: 5,218
- Deer: 3,656
- Dogs: 1,719
- Fish: 61,861
- Goats: 5,639
- Guinea pigs: 3,431
- Horses/donkeys: 475
- Marine mammals: 654
- Mice: 48,201
- Pigs: 706
- Possums: 680
- Rabbits: 56,187
- Rats: 11,068
- Reptiles: 3,580
- Sheep: 41,423
- Misc. species: 145
The following types of organisations used animals in 2021:
- Universities: 72,290
- Commercial organisations: 137,447
- Crown Research Institutes: 60,295
- Other (non-university medical research institutes, zoos/wildlife parks and individuals): 20,737
- Government departments: 7,069
- Polytechnics and institutes of technology: 9,939
- Schools: 2,095
Animals were sourced from the following places in 2021:
- Farms: 77,410
- Breeding units: 85,598
- Captured: 81,930
- Commercial sources: 34,459
- Public sources: 21,312
- Born during project: 8,477
- Imported: 686
The most commonly used species in 2021:
Fish were the most used species in 2021 followed by cattle and rabbits.
Animals used for environmental management
A majority of animals used for this purpose were made up of rabbits. 55,000 rabbits were part of a trial to assess the impact of an experimental formulation containing 1080 in carrot baits.
“OTHER” species used
In 2021, 145 animals were reported in the “other species” category. This group was made up of:
- Bats: 16
- Ferrets: 42
- Hedgehogs: 20
- Stoats: 39
- Wallabies: 28
Animals imported into NZ
A total of 686 animals were imported into New Zealand for research, testing and teaching purposes in 2021. These included 682 mice and 4 rats.
Animal Use Statistics Report for 2021 published by MPI (made public June 2023).
Find out more about the animal manipulation forms (for example the definitions of the different purposes) here: Animal Use Statistics – Guidance for Completing Statistical Returns.