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 “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*
|European Union (EU)||2011||11,481,521||773,306||Link|
|Northern Ireland †||2015||22,508||3,282||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