Statistics, regulations and legislation

There are many pieces of legislation which govern the use of animals in research. This page lists international and national legislation, as well as guides which provide additional information on their interpretation.

Numbers of dogs used globally

This figure shows the number of dogs used in scientific research by country, using the most recent figures available. Note that countries which do not produce annual statistics such as China are believed to use large numbers of dogs, but are not represented in this figure. Links to annual statistics can be found by country below.

Information on which types of research dogs are used for can be found in the annual statistics on animal use produced by individual countries. Countries vary in their reporting of statistics in terms of the level of detail, categorisation of procedures and the species reported. Some countries report no statistics at all, making it difficult to estimate how many dogs are used in scientific research globally, and or to understand their welfare.

Great britain

Over the past decade, dog use in GB each year has been between 3,000-4,500 dogs, and has decreased across this time period. Around 85% of dogs are used in the safety assessment of new chemical entities (mostly new medicines), with a small number being used in fundamental research.

the european union

Although individual member states report their own statistics, the last European Union-wide report was produced for research taking place in 2008. This report showed around 21,000 dogs being used across all member states. As with GB, most dogs are used in safety assessment studies.

the united states of america

The USA has been, and remains, the largest user of dogs of the countries that report annual statistics. Over the last decade, statistics produced by the USDA show that around 65,000 dogs are used each year in USDA-registered facilities. Around 75% of dogs are used in safety assessment studies. The USDA statistics report use by Pain category.


Canada can also be considered a major user of dogs. In 2013, the most recently released statistics, nearly 15,000 dogs were used. This was an increase on the previous year at 10,000 dogs.

the rest of the world

The USA, Japan and China are believed to be the largest users of animals in scientific research, each using over 12 million animals each year. Other countries, such as Japan and Australia do not report centralised annual statistics, however reports suggest that 7,000-9,000 dogs are used annually. Still others, such as New Zealand and Taiwan use small numbers of dogs each year (<1,000) and dog use is more common in veterinary research. It is believed that some countries which do not currently report animal use statistics, such as China (Taylor, 2008), may use numbers of animals comparable with the USA. It is reasonable to assume that the number of dogs used each year exceeds 100,000, with the majority being used outwith the high standards and stringent legislation of the European Union.


Legislation and annual statistics



International Conference on Harmonization. (2008). Non-Clinical Safety Studies for the Conduct of Human Clinical Trials and Marketing Authorization for Pharmaceuticals. Retrieved from


International Conference on Harmonization. (2009). ICH Topic M 3(R2)  Non-Clinical Safety Studies for the Conduct of Human Clinical Trials and Marketing Authorization for Pharmaceuticals. Retrieved from


IPCS 2008. Part 1: Guidance Document on Characterizing and Communicating Uncertainty in Exposure Assessment. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. Available from:


Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) 1996. Final Report of the OECD Workshop on Harmonization of Validation and Acceptance Criteria for Alternative Toxicological Test Methods, January 22-24, 1996, Solna, Sweden. Test Guidelines Programme, Environment Directorate, OECD, Paris.


Koerner, J. E. & Siegl, P. K.  (2013). Safety pharmacology:  guidelines S7A and S7B.  In Global approach in safety testing (p. 243-265).   Springer.





united kingdom

Home Office. (1986). Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. Her Majesty's Stationary Office.


Home Office. (2014). Statistics of scientific procedures on living animals in Great Britain 2013. Crown Copyright.



Home Office. (1989). Code of practice for the housing and care of animals in designated breeding and supply establishments.  Her Majesty’s Stationary Office.


Home Office. (1995). Code of practice for the housing and care of animals used in scientific procedures.  Her Majesty’s Stationary   Office.



European Union

European Union. (2010). Directive 2010/63/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2010 on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. Official Journal of the European Union, L 276/33.


European Commission. (2013). Seventh report on the statistics on the number of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes in the member states of the European Union. Brussels: European Commission.

European Commission: Animals used for scientific purposes


North america

United States Department of Agriculture. (2013). Animal Welfare Act. Washington: USDA.



United States Department of Agriculture. (2014). Annual report animal usage by fiscal year 2012. United States Department  of  Agriculture.


Canadian Council on Animal Care. (2012). CCAC 2011 Animal Use Statistics. Ottowa: CCAC.


NRC Recognition and Alleviation of Pain in Laboratory Animals (2009) Committee on Recognition and Alleviation of Pain in Laboratory Animals Institute for Laboratory Animal Research Division on Earth and Life Studies. National Research Council, The National Academies Press, Washington DC.


Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (2011). Guide for the care and use of laboratory animals, 8th ed. Washington DC: National Academies Press.


Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (2011). Guidance for the description of animal research in scientific publications. Washington DC: National Academies of Sciences.

ICCVAM 1997. Validation and regulatory acceptance of toxicological test methods a report of the ad hoc interagency coordinating committee on the validation of alternative methods. Available from:  http:/



Chen, H. (2007). The past to present animal use and current animal protection law in Taiwan. AATEX, 14, 743-748.


Yagami, K., Mashimo, T., Sekiguchi, F., Sugiyama, F., Yamamura, K. & Serikawa, T. (2010). Survey of live laboratory animals reared in Japan (2009). Experimental Animals, 59.


Ministry of Environment and Forestry India, (2013). Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) for Institutional Animal Ethics Committee (IAEC), Guidelines on the Regulation of Scientific Experiments on Animals, Guidelines for Laboratory Animal Facility and Breeding of and Experiments on Animals (Control and Supervision) Rules, Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experimental Animals (CPCSEA).


Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People׳s Republic of China and Standardization Administration of the People׳s Republic of China (2013). National Standard of the People׳s Republic of China, Laboratory Animal Facilities – General Requirements for Quality and Competence, Draft Standard for Approval 12th April, 2013.



australia and new zealand

Animal Research Review Panel NSW. (2012). Annual report 2011-2012. Sydney, Australia: NSW Department of Primary Industries.

National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee, Ministry for Primary Industries New Zealand. (2013). Annual report 1 January to 31 December 2012. NAEAC.

Department of Primary Industries. (2012). Statistics of animal use in research and teaching Victoria, report number 29. Victoria: Australia.



Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment. (2012). Animal research statistics Tasmania, annual report number 16. Department of Primary Industries.