Smarter Funding

We're asking the NZ Government to allocate funding towards the use and development of animal free methods.

We are asking the NZ Government to allocate funding for the use and development of non-animal-based research, testing and teaching methods.

There does not appear to be any funding exclusively for replacing the use of animals in science in New Zealand. We can’t find evidence of even $1 worth of government funding being spent explicitly on this.

In stark comparison, however, the international scientific community is beginning to treat the replacement of animals used in science seriously, and the field is gaining traction rapidly. The global non-animal alternatives Testing Market is growing at an estimated 10% per year and is forecast to reach 2.59 billion USD (over 4 billion NZD) by 2026.1 With a projected annual growth rate of 36.54%, the organ-on-a-chip market can reach close to 770 million US-dollars (over 1 billion NZD) in global revenue by 2030.2

As far as NZAVS can determine, the only available funding NZ currently has relating to the replacement of animals for science is the Aotearoa New Zealand John Schofield Three Rs Award which provides 10,000 NZD biennially for “significant commitment to implementing the [3Rs] principles”.3 But, this is a retrospective award, it is not funding for the use or development of animal-free research methods.

Note: The 3Rs refer to the Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement of animal use in science. The 3Rs are recognised in New Zealand’s animal welfare legislation, the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

The Ministry for Primary Industries Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures (SFF Futures) fund is a source of funding from the central government for research involving the 3Rs. However, no specific amount of the 40 million NZD per year of this fund is allocated to this.4

Central government funding of science amounts to over 1 billion NZD per year, with total sector spending being about 4.5 billion NZD.5 So the money is there, we just aren't spending it in the right way.

Internationally, things are very different and other jurisdictions are providing funding to encourage the replacement of animals used in science.

New South Wales:

  • At the start of 2023, the New South Wales government of Australia launched a 7 million AUD (~ 7.4 NZD) fund targeting animals used in science. Of this, 4.5 million AUD will be directed towards replacing and reducing the use of animals in science, while the remaining 2.5 million AUD will go towards existing animals needing to be rehomed.6


  • Europe spends over 40 million Euros (~ 69 million NZD) annually on replacement research.7


  • In the US, specific institutions play a role. The Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing has to date invested over 6 million USD (~ 10 million NZD) in over 300 replacement grants.8


  • The Swiss National Science Foundation is funding a 3Rs National Research Program called “Advancing 3R – Animals, Research and Society”. It aims to promote innovative ideas and constructive approaches to solving problems regarding animal experiments and their legitimacy. Through the National Science Foundation, the Swiss government is funding the program with 20 million CHF (~35 million NZD).9

With your help we can end animal experimentation in Aotearoa.