Worldwide Animal Research Statistics

While animal research is conducted in most countries in the world, it is hard to come up with any accurate worldwide figures. Below we track the official statistics produced by countries that produce them, however, there are differences in the way these figures are recorded and reported. EU countries count animal experiments, while most other countries count the number of animals used. The U.S. counts only warm-blooded animals in research, teaching, and testing except for rats, mice, and birds that were bred for research. The EU counts all vertebrates as well as cephalopods (octopuses, squid etc). Currently, no country counts all invertebrates (e.g fruit flies and nematode worms).

An increasing number of countries proactively publish their data, while many others neither collate nor publish animal numbers For a good example of openness, the British Government produces a press release and extensive statistical information in July each year (for the previous years’ numbers), and a briefing is organized for journalists by the Science Media Centre in conjunction with the Home Office.

Speaking of Research seeks to report on the publication of any results when they come out. See the following table and click the Year to be taken to in-depth statistics.

Country Year Number of animals / procedures (vertebrates)*
Number of mammals exc. mice and rats*
Austria 2016 236,459 23,116
Belgium 2016 535,829 74,112
Bulgaria 2014 12,695 3,441
Canada § 2016 4,308,921 661,785
Croatia 2014 25,988  837
Cyprus 2014 640  0
Czech Republic 2016 229,465 16,178
Denmark 2015 241,657 16,676
Estonia 2016 3,726  0
European Union (EU) 2011 11,481,521 773,306
Finland 2016 105,615 8,803
France 2015 1,901,752 193,288
Germany 2015 2,799,961 184,047
Greece 2015 47,784 1,114
Hungary 2016 170,075 12,948
Ireland 2016 226,934 12,033
Israel 2016 507,018 6,795
Italy 2015 586,699 31,091
Latvia 2015 13,592 212
Lithuania 2015 2,439 ~200
Luxembourg 2015 3,524 0
Malta 2016 0 0
Netherlands 2015 479,580 33,966
New Zealand 2015 225,310 103,150
Northern Ireland † 2016 22,214 2,753
Norway 2015 1,230,832 ~2-3,000
Poland 2016 184,489 12,277
Portugal 2014 46,556 131
Romania 2015 19,632 1,669
Slovakia 2016 12,855 1,343
Slovenia 2016 6,819 80
Spain 2016 917,986 52,267
South Korea 2016 2,878,907 68,789
Sweden 2015 258,403 10,725
Switzerland 2016 629,773 15,740
United Kingdom (UK) † 2016 3,936,723 121,857
United States (US) 2016 ~ 12-25 million‡ 820,812

* All EU countries count the total number of procedures for each species rather than the total number of animals, these figures differ by 1-2% due to reuse and longer studies taking place over several years (with the same animal). While most invertebrates are not included, the EU countries do count Cephalopoda (e.g. octopus, squid and cuttlefish) in their statistics.

† The United Kingdom’s statistics do not include Northern Ireland which are counted separately (so technically it’s Great Britain).

‡ This estimate is based on the number of animals being 15 – 30 times higher than the number of mammals excluding mice and rats. This is true of nearly every other country on the table.

§ These figures are only for CCAC members, which account for most major research institutions in Canada

Mouse houses are an important part of enrichment
Mice, rats, birds and fish account for most of the (vertebrate) animals used in experiments.