Animal Research Statistics

Animal research is conducted in most countries in the world, though practices differ greatly for recording and reporting the numbers. 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 “Link” beneath “More information” to be taken to in-depth statistics.

Country Year Number of animals / procedures (vertebrates)*
Number of mammals exc. mice and rats*
More info
Austria 2016 236,459 23,116 Link
Belgium 2015 566,603 69,955 Link
Bulgaria 2014 12,695 3,441 Link
Canada § 2015 3,570,352 452,600 Link
Croatia 2014 25,988  837 Link
Cyprus 2014 640  0 Link
Czech Republic 2016 229,465 16,178 Link
Denmark 2015 241,657 16,676 Link
Estonia 2015 4,161  689 Link
European Union (EU) 2011 11,481,521 773,306 Link
Finland 2015 255,765 8,071 Link
France 2014 1,769,618 154,966 Link
Germany 2015 2,799,961 184,047 Link
Greece 2015 47,784 1,114 Link
Hungary 2016 170,075 12,948 Link
Ireland 2015 228975 21,248 Link
Israel 2016 507,018 6,795 Link
Italy 2014 698,059 29,165 Link
Latvia 2015 13,592 212 Link
Lithuania 2015 2,439 ~200 Link
Luxembourg 2015 3,524 0 Link
Malta 2016 0 0 Link
Netherlands 2015 479,580 33,966 Link
New Zealand 2015 225,310 103,150 Link
Northern Ireland † 2015 22,508 3,282 Link
Norway 2013 5,521,991 2,728 Link
Poland 2015 174,456 20,814 Link
Portugal 2014 46,556 131 Link
Romania 2015 19,632 1,669 Link
Slovakia 2016 12,855 1,343 Link
Slovenia 2016 6,819 80 Link
Spain 2015 858,946 54,558 Link
South Korea 2016 2,878,907 68,789 Link
Sweden 2015 258,403 10,725 Link
Switzerland 2016 629,773 15,740 Link
United Kingdom (UK) † 2016 3,936,723 121,857 Link
United States (US) 2016 ~ 12-25 million‡ 820,812 Link

* 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.