Information on the animals used for research, testing and teaching in New Zealand during 2016.

In 2016 an average of 176 animals were killed every day in New Zealand for research, testing or teaching.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), publishes an annual report that includes information on the animals used in New Zealand for research, testing and teaching (RTT). This report has just been released — access this full report at the bottom of the page. 

We have summarised this information for ease of access as the MPI report presents them in a variety of ways (actual numbers, percentage compared to the previous year, number increase/decrease etc.).

A total of 254,453 animals used in research, testing and teaching were reported in 2016, that's 29,143 more than the previous year. This was a 12.9% increase. 

This is not necessarily an increase of animals being used for RTT in NZ, but rather a reflection on the nature of reporting. Some experiments run for longer than a year, sometimes up to 3-4 years. The approval for using animals for RTT is granted once, so even though an experiment may run for years, it counts as one approval rather than the approval of each year

A more accurate representation of the number of animals used for RTT in NZ is the average number of animals used over a three year period, which is 263,350 animals. 

Note: This information is for 2016. 

Total used: 254,453

Number killed by the end of the RTT: 62,401



Basic biological research: 45,471

Veterinary research: 58,365

Teaching: 30,396

Animal husbandry research: 11,926

Medical research: 16,542

Testing: 53,123

Environmental management research: 7447

Species conservation: 4453

Other: 949

Production of biological agents: 25,717

Development of alternatives: 64


Types of Animals

Amphibia: 593

Birds: 9716

Cats: 926

Cattle: 104,728

Cephalopods/crustaceans: 4815 

Deer: 7688

Dogs: 1304

Fish: 19,632

Goats: 4400

Guinea pigs: 1900 

Horses/donkeys: 924

Marine mammals: 2974

Mice: 34,013

Pigs: 533

Possums: 1169

Rabbits: 1225

Rats: 8770

Reptiles: 1235

Sheep: 47,548

Misc. species: 360


Organisation Type

Universities: 50,801

Commercial organisations: 115,654

Crown Research Institutes: 63,848

Other (commercial medical research, individuals etc.): 7683  

Government departments: 3973 

Polytechnics: 9152

Schools: 3342




MPI report for 2016

NAEAC report for 2016

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